CoTW: Bk.3, Ch.9, "Flotsam and Jetsom"

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aelfwina

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Aug 29, 2004, 4:41:41 AM8/29/04
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In which the Three Hunters enjoy a picnic with their hobbits; Longbottom
Leaf is found where it has no business being; and we learn of the last march
of the Ents and the cleansing of Isengard.

SUMMARY:

It starts off with Gandalf, the King of Rohan and the riders leaving the
hobbits, Aragorn and Gimli to their own devices as they head to meet with
Treebeard. Aragorn says they have met "where none of us thought to come".
(1) Legolas wants Merry and Pippin to give an account of themselves "now
that the great ones have gone to discuss high matters"(2). Gimli, with a
single-mindedness worthy of a hobbit is interested in food, drink and
pipe-weed, especially once Merry assures him the provisions are *not*
Orc-fare (3).

The two hobbits lead their friends into a chamber that apparently looked
into a tunnel, and adjoined the store-rooms. The cousins had found food
consisting of salt-pork, bacon, bread, butter and honey. (For some reason, I
had always thought "cheese" as well, and was surprised there was no mention
of it.)

Aragorn notes they appear to "look in the bloom of health." (4) And Gimli
takes note of the changes in their appearance. Their hair is curlier, and
they have grown perceptibly. (5) The young hobbits say they have been
drinking only while in the company of the Ents. Legolas comments that
strange songs are sung of the Ent-draughts. (6)

Aragorn then invites them to tell their story, and to tell about Ents. They
begin to do so, but in true hobbit fashion, are distracted by the matter of
pipe-weed. We learn of the two barrels of Longbottom Leaf found amid the
wreckage. Pippin offers Gimli the use of his spare pipe. Before they can all
light up, Legolas suggests they all go back outside.(7) They do so, and
Aragorn makes himself comfortable. Pippin says "Look! Strider the Ranger has
come back!" Aragorn responds "He has never been away. I am Strider and
Dúnadan too, and I belong to Gondor and the North." (8)

The hobbits finally begin to tell their story after more prompting from
Legolas. Pippin takes the lead in telling the account of what had happened
to them, only faltering when coming to Grishnakh's attempt to search them
for the Ring. During Pippin's story Aragorn returns their blades and Pippin'
s brooch.

There is a brief discussion of the pickle Saruman landed himself in. ("A
cleft stick of his own making") Merry now takes up the tale with a re-cap of
the events in Ch. 4 "Treebeard". Then Merry gives a description of how they
came upon Isengard in the night, and what it felt like on Treebeard's
shoulders. He also describes the march of Saruman's troops: Orcs, Men and
Orc-like men who reminded him of the southerner in Bree. The hobbit
estimated Saruman's forces at about ten-thousand. (9) Treebeard and the Ents
remained, surrounding Isengard while the Huorns follow the Orcs.

There follows a vivid description of the Ent attack on Isengard. Merry says
of Saruman's reaction (or non-reaction) that he did not know how to deal
with it, along with a crushing character analysis: "but anyway, I think he
has not much grit, not much courage alone in a tight place without a lot of
slaves and machines and things." He also doubts Saruman's greatness as a
wizard. Aragorn responds ".His knowledge was deep, his thought subtle and
his hands marvelously skilled, and he had a power over the minds of others."
(10)

Pippin takes the tale up again, telling of how Saruman barely escaped
Quickbeam, fleeing inside Orthanc, where he then uses his machinery to set
fire to some of the Ents. This truly rouses their anger. (Pippin's
description of Ents in a fury reminds me of some hurricanes I have been
through! Truly terrifying!)

Then Treebeard calms the Ents with a plan. The Ents spend the day digging
pits and trenches, making pools and dams and gathering the waters. I love
the part where he warns the hobbits of the water, and "amuses himself in a
leisurely sort of way" by picking at the walls.

Next we hear of Gandalf's arrival. However much his power has increased
since he is now the White, his personality remains intact, as we see by his
characteristic gruff greeting. He hurriedly consults with Treebeard, and
then is off again.

After Gandalf leaves, Treebeard tells Merry and Pippin that they are not so
hasty as he thought and had said less then they might.(11)

There is a wonderfully creepy description of the Huorns passing in the
night. Then at midnight the Ents let in the waters to flood Isengard. This
also has a bit of very good description of the water rising and then sinking
again. Pippin calls it a "misty, moisty morning". (12)

Pippin seems willing to leave the story here, but Gimli wants to know about
Wormtongue, and we are given a rather amusing picture of his arrival, his
shock at finding Isengard in ruins, and Treebeard sending him to join
Saruman in the Tower.(13)

Treebeard charges Merry and Pippin with greeting the arrivals, and finding
them food. We learn that Ents disdain wine and ale. It was during the search
for food that the two hobbits found the pipe-weed. Aragorn voices concern
over the appearance of the leaf in Isengard because of the empty and
untraveled lands between(14) and says "Wormtongues may be found in other
houses than King Thé oden's."(15) We also learn that the leaf is of the 1417
crop. (16)

DISCUSSION:

(1) Why does he say this, since the trail they were following after the
hobbits was clearly leading them to Isengard?

(2) Aragorn should have been among those "great ones" since he has revealed
himself, yet he chooses here to revert to lesser status. Why? (I have my own
opinion on the subject, but would like to see what others think.)

(3) Merry says Saruman had Men that he trusted to guard his gates, and they
were favored. Who were these Men? Were they some of the ruffians who ended
up in the Shire? If so, why would Saruman trust them?

(4) Is this perhaps his observation as a healer who has been surreptitiously
checking them out for signs of abuse by the Orcs?

(5) How much did they grow? We are told they surpassed the Bullroarer, and
we know that Pippin was the smallest of the four to begin with. That must
have been *some* growth spurt!

(6) What kind of strange songs would Elves know about Ent-draughts?

(7) Is this a defense mechanism from the only non-smoker in the group?

(8) A good spot for discussion of Aragorn. Some feel he is not as
interesting a character after he has revealed himself. Is he really so
different in these latter parts of the story?

(9) Saruman seems to have been incredibly overconfident. Why did he *empty*
Isengard?

(10) How accurate are these opinions? Was Saruman a physical coward? Was he
truly so great, and when did he begin to lose it?

(11) Is there an implication here that Gandalf told Treebeard of Frodo's
errand? If so, why, since it is supposed to be a secret? If not, what else
could he have told them that would have elicited this reaction?

(12) This puts me in mind of the old Mother Goose rhyme:

"One misty, moisty morning

When cloudy was the weather

There I met an old man,

All dressed in leather.

I began to curtsey, and he began to bow.

"How do you do? And how do you do?

And how do you do again?"

(I'm quoting from memory here, so please forgive me if it is not quite
right.)

Deliberate, do you think?

(13) And what kind of reception do you think Wormtongue received from a
frustrated Saruman?

(14) Why did these lands remain empty and untraveled for so very long?

(15) "Wormtongues may be found in other houses." how might this apply to
Lotho? Was he like Wormtongue, why or why not?

(16) 1417? Why did Saruman take an interest in the Shire *before* he had
reason to think the Ring was there?

OTHER POINTS TO PONDER:

--Pippin seems to have the main job of recounting what happened. This is not
the first time, either (remember how Frodo allowed him to tell of the
journey from Bag End to Crickhollow?) He seems quite accomplished as a
narrator.

--This chapter is an interesting foreshadowing of the future of the
Fellowship. Once the Ringbearers have passed over the Sea, these five alone
remained in Middle-earth, and the friendship was close enough and strong
enough that Merry and Pippin chose to die in Aragorn's company, rather than
at home in the Shire. I like to think, though it doesn't say so, that they
had the company there of Legolas and Gimli as well.

--What on earth do you suppose Gandalf and Theoden found to converse about
with Treebeard?

--I love this chapter as an interlude in the action and danger. In fact, it
is my favorite chapter of TT. The easy camaraderie and affection displayed,
and the informality of their friendship is just lovely.

FAVORITE QUOTE:

"One who cannot cast away a treasure at need is in fetters."


Öjevind Lång

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Aug 30, 2004, 9:09:03 AM8/30/04
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"aelfwina" <aelf...@cableone.net> skrev i meddelandet
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> In which the Three Hunters enjoy a picnic with their hobbits; Longbottom
> Leaf is found where it has no business being; and we learn of the last
march
> of the Ents and the cleansing of Isengard.
>
> SUMMARY:

[snip]

> The two hobbits lead their friends into a chamber that apparently looked
> into a tunnel, and adjoined the store-rooms. The cousins had found food
> consisting of salt-pork, bacon, bread, butter and honey. (For some reason,
I
> had always thought "cheese" as well, and was surprised there was no
mention
> of it.)

Good point. I bet there was cheese as well; it somehow fits in with the rest
of the food.

> Aragorn notes they appear to "look in the bloom of health." (4) And Gimli
> takes note of the changes in their appearance. Their hair is curlier, and
> they have grown perceptibly. (5) The young hobbits say they have been
> drinking only while in the company of the Ents.

Since they were constantly in the Ents' company, that means they were drunk
morning, midday and night..

>Legolas comments that
> strange songs are sung of the Ent-draughts. (6)

And even stranger songs are sung by those drinking it.

[snip]

> The hobbits finally begin to tell their story after more prompting from
> Legolas. Pippin takes the lead in telling the account of what had happened
> to them, only faltering when coming to Grishnakh's attempt to search them
> for the Ring. During Pippin's story Aragorn returns their blades and
Pippin'
> s brooch.

Due to the many events and parallel plots in the book, Tolkien often has to
let someone or other tell people what happened in other places where the
listeners were not present. It happens in "The Shadow of the Past"; it
happens repeatedly in "The Council of Elrond", and later on when Gandalf
meets Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas; here in Isengard; in Minas Tirith when
Gimli and Legolas tell the hobbits about the summoning of the Dead; and back
in the Shire when we learn how Sharkey took over the country. It is, as a
rule, wonderfully well done; look, for example, at "The Council", where a
tremendous lot of information is given without being boring.

> There is a brief discussion of the pickle Saruman landed himself in. ("A
> cleft stick of his own making") Merry now takes up the tale with a re-cap
of
> the events in Ch. 4 "Treebeard". Then Merry gives a description of how
they
> came upon Isengard in the night, and what it felt like on Treebeard's
> shoulders. He also describes the march of Saruman's troops: Orcs, Men and
> Orc-like men who reminded him of the southerner in Bree.

And not of the Uruk-hai. Due to a recent discussion, I think it worthwhile
to point this out once more. The Uruk-hai were not half-orcs.

[snip]

> There follows a vivid description of the Ent attack on Isengard. Merry
says
> of Saruman's reaction (or non-reaction) that he did not know how to deal
> with it, along with a crushing character analysis: "but anyway, I think he
> has not much grit, not much courage alone in a tight place without a lot
of
> slaves and machines and things." He also doubts Saruman's greatness as a
> wizard. Aragorn responds ".His knowledge was deep, his thought subtle and
> his hands marvelously skilled, and he had a power over the minds of
others."
> (10)

An interesting subtheme in the book is how Saruman, once he has turned to
evil, shrinks and shrivels and gradually loses the greatness he once
possessed. In the end nothing remains except a snarling, abusive beggar
without any power at all except the one to scold. That is what he has become
when he says to Galadriel: "'And what ship will take you back now across so
wide a sea?' It will be a grey ship, and full of ghosts.' He laughed, but
his voice was cracked and hideous." (He once had a beautiful, hypnotic
voice.)
Of course, Saruman always had a knack for abuse. As for example in this
stream of it addressed at Théoden: "Dotard! What is the house of Eorl but a
thatched barn where brigands drink in the reek, and their brats roll on the
floor among the dogs? Too long have they escaped the gibbet themselves." Or
to Gandalf: "Do not be a fool. If you wish to treat with me, while you have
a chance, go away, and come back when you are sober! And leave behind these
cut-throats and small rag-tag that dangle at your tail!"

> Pippin takes the tale up again, telling of how Saruman barely escaped
> Quickbeam, fleeing inside Orthanc, where he then uses his machinery to set
> fire to some of the Ents. This truly rouses their anger. (Pippin's
> description of Ents in a fury reminds me of some hurricanes I have been
> through! Truly terrifying!)

I always wondered whether the Ent that was set to fire survived. I suppose
not. He "burned like a torch". I have always thought that very horrible.

> Then Treebeard calms the Ents with a plan. The Ents spend the day digging
> pits and trenches, making pools and dams and gathering the waters. I love
> the part where he warns the hobbits of the water, and "amuses himself in a
> leisurely sort of way" by picking at the walls.

LOL - yes, so do I.

[snip]

> Pippin seems willing to leave the story here, but Gimli wants to know
about
> Wormtongue, and we are given a rather amusing picture of his arrival, his
> shock at finding Isengard in ruins, and Treebeard sending him to join
> Saruman in the Tower.(13)

I thought that scene was mishandled by Jackson. It would have been quite
easy to follow the book here. Of course, he lets Wormtongue arrive at
Orthanc much earlier, but that change was unnecessary too. If he had cut out
the entire stupid attack of the wargs, and Aragorn's snogging with a horse,
there would have been ample space to tell the story as told in the book.

[snip]

> (2) Aragorn should have been among those "great ones" since he has
revealed
> himself, yet he chooses here to revert to lesser status. Why? (I have my
own
> opinion on the subject, but would like to see what others think.)

Biding his time until he could arrive in Minas Tirith as the rightful heir
to the throne.

> (3) Merry says Saruman had Men that he trusted to guard his gates, and
they
> were favored. Who were these Men? Were they some of the ruffians who ended
> up in the Shire? If so, why would Saruman trust them?

Perhaps slightly classier ruffians with a sort of SS-like feeling of fealty
to their boss. Up to a point. After the destruction, according to Pippin,
"the few remaining rats in isengard started bolting through every hole that
the Ents made, The Ents led the Men go, after they had questioned them, two
or three dozen only down at this end. I don't think many orc-folk, of any
size, escaped."
Almost makes me root for the bold and cunning Orc who did manage to escape
and make it to the mountains.

[snip]

> (6) What kind of strange songs would Elves know about Ent-draughts?

"Drink, drink, wood-brother, drink!
This is the time to get pissed!"

Ahem. Sorry.

> (7) Is this a defense mechanism from the only non-smoker in the group?

Interesting - I never thought of that aspect before.

[snip]

> (9) Saruman seems to have been incredibly overconfident. Why did he
*empty*
> Isengard?

Well, to his knowledge, the army of Rohan was scattered and fleeing, Théoden
was still paralyzed by despair, and there was no other enemy force around.
He didn't think of the Ents. Furthermore, the little garrison left behind in
Isengard could doubtless hold it against any attacker, unless someone
managed to destroy the walls; and only the Ents could do that in a trice.

[snip]

> "One who cannot cast away a treasure at need is in fetters."

Yes, that is a good one.
Excellent summary. :-)

Öjevind


AC

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Aug 29, 2004, 11:43:52 AM8/29/04
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On Sun, 29 Aug 2004 03:41:41 -0500,
aelfwina <aelf...@cableone.net> wrote:

<snip excellent synopsis>

> (2) Aragorn should have been among those "great ones" since he has revealed
> himself, yet he chooses here to revert to lesser status. Why? (I have my own
> opinion on the subject, but would like to see what others think.)

This is one of those things that has always bothered me, and I still find it
odd. I realize that, story-externally, this is the reward for Aragorn for
chasing Merry and Pippin to the eaves of Fangorn, but to have a lesser king
like Theoden trot off to talk to Treebeard, and to leave Aragorn, Heir of
Isildur and future king of the united kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor, left
behind just seems bizarre, and I've never come up with a suitable
explanation.

>
> (3) Merry says Saruman had Men that he trusted to guard his gates, and they
> were favored. Who were these Men? Were they some of the ruffians who ended
> up in the Shire? If so, why would Saruman trust them?

Maybe Saruman had used his Voice to some greater effect on these
individuals.

> (9) Saruman seems to have been incredibly overconfident. Why did he *empty*
> Isengard?

I guess he thought with Theoden wasting away and refusing to send out any
forces, that there was nothing to stop him. Saruman obviously forgot about
his next door neighbors. Whoops! Better luck next time, Sharkey.

> (16) 1417? Why did Saruman take an interest in the Shire *before* he had
> reason to think the Ring was there?

As I recal from UT, it was because of pipeweed, or more justly, because he
was having Gandalf followed, and Gandalf did take some interest in the
Shire.

> FAVORITE QUOTE:
>
> "One who cannot cast away a treasure at need is in fetters."

A good quote, and a good maxim.

--
Aaron Clausen
mightym...@hotmail.com

WOODY: How's it going Mr. Peterson?
NORM : It's a dog eat dog world out there, Woody, and I'm wearing
milkbone underwear.

Raven

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Aug 29, 2004, 11:53:42 AM8/29/04
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"aelfwina" <aelf...@cableone.net> skrev i en meddelelse
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["...where none of us thought to come."]

> (1) Why does he say this, since the trail they were following after the
> hobbits was clearly leading them to Isengard?

He may have referred to the time before Merry and Pippin were abducted.
The Company certainly never intended to detour to Isengard on their way to
Mount Doom or to Minas Tirith.

> (2) Aragorn should have been among those "great ones" since he has
> revealed himself, yet he chooses here to revert to lesser status. Why?
> (I have my own opinion on the subject, but would like to see what
> others think.)

He probably wanted to be with Merry and Pippin, partly because he was
fond of them and had been separated from them by peril for some time, partly
because he wanted to hear their tale. He had no reason to avoid Treebeard
for the purpose of concealing his ambition to become King in Minas Tirith: I
can hardly imagine Treebeard taking interest in such things; Théoden, Éomer
and Gandalf knew these things quite well already. The question becomes why
didn't they *all* join Treebeard, since they were there for a meal and a
talk with him, and converged on Orthanc after.

[Legolas suggests that they nip outside]

> (7) Is this a defense mechanism from the only non-smoker in the group?

It could be. He also chides them gently: "...and the mists are blowing
away, or would if you strange folk did not wreathe yourselves in smoke."

> (13) And what kind of reception do you think Wormtongue received from a
> frustrated Saruman?

Not a kind one. We can guess based on Saruman's personality at the time;
we see how he treats Wormtongue later; we notice Wormtongue's mis-aim with
the Palantír, when he appears unable to make up his mind which one he hates
more, Saruman or Gandalf.

> (14) Why did these lands remain empty and untraveled for so very long?

The question becomes why the Men of the late Third Age didn't have larger
families. Then the populations of the various peoples would have grown, and
unpopulated lands would have been settled. Even the Dunlendings do not
expand into Minhiriath and beyond; instead they yearn for the land that the
Rohirrim took from their ancestors. Perhaps peoples who disappeared,
whether Elves or Men, sort of left their mark on the land, so that other
peoples would consider it to be intruding on foreign lands if they settled
them, even if the earlier inhabitants had been gone for millennia and showed
no signs of wanting to return.
Or perhaps they were for some reason much less interested in sex at the
time.

> (15) "Wormtongues may be found in other houses." how might this apply to
> Lotho? Was he like Wormtongue, why or why not?

I should say that he was like Wormtongue, in that he was willing to sell
out the Shire to Saruman for personal gain, just as Wormtongue sold out
Rohan to a foe who was slaying his countrymen, hoping to force Éowyn to wed
him as a reward from his new master. Lotho even imported his own army of
ruffians to make the Shirefolk do his bidding, until they took his orders no
more, and Saruman commanded one of his tools to murder the other tool.

> (16) 1417? Why did Saruman take an interest in the Shire *before* he had
> reason to think the Ring was there?

From the UT: he knew that Gandalf took an interest in the Shire. Partly
he wanted to see what his rival was up to, partly he wanted to mimick him.
Gandalf smoked, so Saruman wanted to as well. Saruman seems to have had
quite mixed emotions concerning Gandalf, both jealousy and admiration. He
kept the latter emotion hidden even from himself, as well as he could, and
the result was an even fiercer anger. Perhaps Saruman could have done with
a good shrink. And perhaps someone could do a humorous episode about
Saruman on the couch, or doing an inkblot test.

("What do you see?"
"Gandalf's face leering at me!"
"And now?"
"Gandalf sticking his tongue out at me!"
"And this?"
"Gandalf with his stupid pipe!"
"Gandalf seems rather on your mind, doesn't he?"
"What!?! That insignificant gnat? I hardly ever concern myself about
him at all!"

Except that I can't imagine Saruman, both very intelligent and rather
self-delusional, as well as proud and concerned with his image, to reply
honestly during an inkblot test - unless Sauron were the shrink. Count?)

> --What on earth do you suppose Gandalf and Theoden found to converse about
> with Treebeard?

Saruman, for starters. Then Sauron. And perhaps the history of the
Rohirrim after they arrived in Calenardhon and became neighbours to Fangorn.
Probably the battle of Helm's Deep, and the part that the Huorns had to play
in it. Probably planning what to do about Saruman. Probably Gandalf could
not have assumed the authority to alone command Saruman's fate, when both
Treebeard and Théoden had been so injured by him, and when indeed they and
their peoples had done the most to defeat him. They must have volunteered
to defer such judgement to Gandalf, just as later, after Denethor's death,
Gandalf was elected to be the supreme commander of the forces of the West in
the last battle against Sauron.

Cuervo.


Christopher Kreuzer

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Aug 29, 2004, 4:15:59 PM8/29/04
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aelfwina <aelf...@cableone.net> wrote:

<snipped and rearranged>

> It starts off with Gandalf, the King of Rohan and the riders leaving
> the hobbits, Aragorn and Gimli to their own devices as they head to

> meet with Treebeard. [...] Legolas wants Merry and Pippin to give an


> account of themselves "now that the great ones have gone to discuss
> high matters"(2).

> (2) Aragorn should have been among those "great ones" since he has


> revealed himself, yet he chooses here to revert to lesser status.
> Why? (I have my own opinion on the subject, but would like to see
> what others think.)

I agree with what someone said about Theoden and Treebeard being those
representatives of the kingdoms that had been most recently wronged by
Saruman. Thus it would make sense for them to have a council with
Gandalf and for the company to later regather to actually go and
confront Saruman. There is also the point that Aragorn does _not_ reveal
himself to Saruman. He has revealed himself to Theoden and Eomer and the
Rohirrim, but the point has not yet come to reveal himself to the Enemy
(of whom Saruman can now be considered a servant) - that comes later
with the palantir.

I suspect that the answer is also partly story-external. Tolkien wants
to show us the camaraderie of the Three Hunters and their friendship.
You picked up on this point below:

> --I love this chapter as an interlude in the action and danger. In
> fact, it is my favorite chapter of TT. The easy camaraderie and
> affection displayed, and the informality of their friendship is just
> lovely.

To show this, it was necessary to remove Gandalf and Theoden and somehow
have the hobbits left alone with the Three Hunters.

> --What on earth do you suppose Gandalf and Theoden found to converse
> about with Treebeard?

The council of the wronged, as suggested above (though not my idea).

<snip>

> Aragorn makes himself
> comfortable. Pippin says "Look! Strider the Ranger has come back!"
> Aragorn responds "He has never been away. I am Strider and Dúnadan
> too, and I belong to Gondor and the North." (8)

A great piece of characterisation.

> (8) A good spot for discussion of Aragorn. Some feel he is not as
> interesting a character after he has revealed himself. Is he really so
> different in these latter parts of the story?

I think not. We often get flashes of Strider, and I never quite get why
people say Strider was more interesting then Aragorn. I've always found
him equally interesting as Strider and Aragorn and see them both as part
of the whole personality.

<snip>

> After Gandalf leaves, Treebeard tells Merry and Pippin that they are
> not so hasty as he thought and had said less then they might.(11)

> (11) Is there an implication here that Gandalf told Treebeard of


> Frodo's errand? If so, why, since it is supposed to be a secret? If
> not, what else could he have told them that would have elicited this
> reaction?

I can only think of Frodo's mission. It does seem that Gandalf is trying
to tell as many people as possible.... First Theoden and now Treebeard.
But maybe he consistently omits references to the Ring and just says
that "a mighty weapon" must be destroyed or something. Sadly, we'll
never know.

<snip>

> We also learn that the leaf is of the 1417 crop. (16)

> (16) 1417? Why did Saruman take an interest in the Shire *before* he


> had reason to think the Ring was there?

Well, we know he did, as someone said because of Gandalf smoking
pipeweed and Gandalf's interest in the Shire, but merely having 1417
pipe weed in your cellar doesn't mean you obtained it in 1417. Saruman
could have obtained in 147 or any year after that. The point is not
(yet) that Saruman was taking an interest in the Shire _before_ the Ring
business happened, but that he was taking an interest at all. Not a good
sign. If the date had been from many years ago, the concern might have
been less.

<snip>


> FAVORITE QUOTE:
>
> "One who cannot cast away a treasure at need is in fetters."

Nice!

Christopher

--
---
Reply clue: Saruman welcomes you to Spamgard

aelfwina

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Aug 30, 2004, 3:17:05 PM8/30/04
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"Raven" <jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam> wrote in message
news:f5nYc.125$8u7...@news.get2net.dk...

> "aelfwina" <aelf...@cableone.net> skrev i en meddelelse
> news:10j35im...@corp.supernews.com...
>

(some snippage)

> > > (14) Why did these lands remain empty and untraveled for so very
long?
>
> The question becomes why the Men of the late Third Age didn't have
larger
> families. Then the populations of the various peoples would have grown,
and
> unpopulated lands would have been settled. Even the Dunlendings do not
> expand into Minhiriath and beyond; instead they yearn for the land that
the
> Rohirrim took from their ancestors. Perhaps peoples who disappeared,
> whether Elves or Men, sort of left their mark on the land, so that other
> peoples would consider it to be intruding on foreign lands if they settled
> them, even if the earlier inhabitants had been gone for millennia and
showed
> no signs of wanting to return.
> Or perhaps they were for some reason much less interested in sex at the
> time.

*snort!!* (wipes off monitor, wipes eyes!)


OMG! I can see it now; wouldn't it make a great skit on Sat.Night Live.
You are *wicked* (grin)

>
> Except that I can't imagine Saruman, both very intelligent and rather
> self-delusional, as well as proud and concerned with his image, to reply
> honestly during an inkblot test - unless Sauron were the shrink. Count?)

Sauron as a shrink? What do you think it would mean if he said "I feel your
pain?"
Barbara
>
> Cuervo.
>
>


aelfwina

unread,
Aug 30, 2004, 3:21:44 PM8/30/04
to

"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message
news:3QqYc.1196$8J7.14...@news-text.cableinet.net...

So have I. We continue to see this "Strider" side of Aragorn even later. I
think of the exchange between him and Merry about pipe-weed in the Houses of
Healing.
I don't understand those who try to say he is two different characters.

>
> <snip>
>
> > After Gandalf leaves, Treebeard tells Merry and Pippin that they are
> > not so hasty as he thought and had said less then they might.(11)
>
> > (11) Is there an implication here that Gandalf told Treebeard of
> > Frodo's errand? If so, why, since it is supposed to be a secret? If
> > not, what else could he have told them that would have elicited this
> > reaction?
>
> I can only think of Frodo's mission. It does seem that Gandalf is trying
> to tell as many people as possible.... First Theoden and now Treebeard.
> But maybe he consistently omits references to the Ring and just says
> that "a mighty weapon" must be destroyed or something. Sadly, we'll
> never know.

Now that's a thought--letting them know that there *is* hope, because of a
"secret mission" but not explaining what the mission is. It would make a
bit more sense, and fit better with Gandalf's secretive personality. I had
not thought of that before. Thank you.

aelfwina

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Aug 30, 2004, 3:24:24 PM8/30/04
to

"Öjevind Lång" <dnivej...@swipnet.se> wrote in message
news:EAkYc.1594$LV3....@nntpserver.swip.net...

LOL! And enjoying every second of it, too, I'll bet!

8-D

Raven

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Aug 30, 2004, 5:18:51 PM8/30/04
to
"aelfwina" <aelf...@cableone.net> skrev i en meddelelse
news:10j6v63...@corp.supernews.com...

> "Raven" <jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam> wrote in message
> news:f5nYc.125$8u7...@news.get2net.dk...

> > Except that I can't imagine Saruman, both very intelligent and rather


> > self-delusional, as well as proud and concerned with his image, to reply
> > honestly during an inkblot test - unless Sauron were the shrink.
> > Count?)

> Sauron as a shrink? What do you think it would mean if he said "I feel
> your pain?"

He would probably be gloating as he said it. But one must certainly give
Sauron this: he knew how to mess with people's minds. If there is a
crossover between Middle-earth and the Discworld, then Vorbis probably took
lessons from Sauron.

Kruk.


Huan the hound

unread,
Aug 31, 2004, 10:59:41 AM8/31/04
to
aelfwina posted on 8/29/04 4:41 AM:
[snip]

> Before they can all
> light up, Legolas suggests they all go back outside.(7)

Now I'm really curious, my edition says Aragorn. Is it yet
another typo? So far the typos in my edition have been
spelling errors like "Lovely" Mountain and "Galdalf".

[snip]

> (2) Aragorn should have been among those "great ones" since he has revealed
> himself, yet he chooses here to revert to lesser status. Why? (I have my own
> opinion on the subject, but would like to see what others think.)

I think it's the same as Legolas's and Gimli's reason. They
were all close friends and the three hunters had been
chasing Merry and Pippin for such a long time.

[snip]

> --Pippin seems to have the main job of recounting what happened. This is not
> the first time, either (remember how Frodo allowed him to tell of the
> journey from Bag End to Crickhollow?) He seems quite accomplished as a
> narrator.

Maybe because he's youngest and recovers from terrifying
experiences more quickly than the older hobbits.

Huan, the hound of Valinor
--
Yet at length Draugluin escaped, and fleeing back into the
tower he died before Sauron's feet; and as he died he told
his master: 'Huan is there!'

aelfwina

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Aug 31, 2004, 5:00:13 PM8/31/04
to

"Huan the hound" <huanth...@netscape.net> wrote in message
news:2pjsg0F...@uni-berlin.de...

> aelfwina posted on 8/29/04 4:41 AM:
> [snip]
>
> > Before they can all
> > light up, Legolas suggests they all go back outside.(7)
>
> Now I'm really curious, my edition says Aragorn. Is it yet
> another typo? So far the typos in my edition have been
> spelling errors like "Lovely" Mountain and "Galdalf".

" 'Well, I am going back into the open air, to see what the wind and sky are
doing!' said Legolas

'We will come with you,' said Aragorn"

So I guess it depends on which one you think is really making the
suggestion. I think it was Legolas' idea, as he knew the others would come
with him out of politeness; on the other hand, Aragorn *is* the one to say
"we". I do think Legolas probably wanted to get out of there before they
lit up.
Barbara

Laurie Forbes

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Sep 1, 2004, 10:57:04 AM9/1/04
to

"Öjevind Lång" <dnivej...@swipnet.se> wrote in message
news:EAkYc.1594$LV3....@nntpserver.swip.net...
| "aelfwina" <aelf...@cableone.net> skrev i meddelandet
| news:10j35im...@corp.supernews.com...
|
| > In which the Three Hunters enjoy a picnic with their hobbits; Longbottom
| > Leaf is found where it has no business being; and we learn of the last
| > march of the Ents and the cleansing of Isengard.
| >
| > SUMMARY:
|
| [snip]

| > The hobbits finally begin to tell their story after more prompting from


| > Legolas. Pippin takes the lead in telling the account of what had
happened
| > to them, only faltering when coming to Grishnakh's attempt to search
them
| > for the Ring. During Pippin's story Aragorn returns their blades and
| > Pippin's brooch.


| Due to the many events and parallel plots in the book, Tolkien often has
to
| let someone or other tell people what happened in other places where the
| listeners were not present.

I, too, like this very much. The stories are as vivid and well-constructed
as if the events were being described in a "normal" narrative manner, and we
have the "bonus" of the storyteller's personality and point of view.

| It happens in "The Shadow of the Past"; it
| happens repeatedly in "The Council of Elrond", and later on when Gandalf
| meets Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas; here in Isengard; in Minas Tirith when
| Gimli and Legolas tell the hobbits about the summoning of the Dead; and
back
| in the Shire when we learn how Sharkey took over the country. It is, as a
| rule, wonderfully well done; look, for example, at "The Council", where a
| tremendous lot of information is given without being boring.

I don't care for it so much in "Council," but that's probably because I find
there to be an overdose of information in that chapter. Or, probably more
likely, it's because the Council itself has gotten off on the wrong foot for
me from just about the very moment it's called to order.


[snip]

| > (2) Aragorn should have been among those "great ones" since he has
| revealed
| > himself, yet he chooses here to revert to lesser status. Why? (I have my
| > own opinion on the subject, but would like to see what others think.)

| Biding his time until he could arrive in Minas Tirith as the rightful heir
| to the throne.

I agree with Christopher that Aragorn has not yet revealed himself, except
"locally." I don't feel there
is any need for him to do so now in a confrontation with Saruman. In fact
there may be good reasons not to (one of them starts with a "p"...).

Building further on what others have said, Aragorn seems to be very careful
about "authority" - who has it, who deserves to be recognized for it, and
why. In this particular setting, Théoden and Treebeard are not only the
more aggrieved parties, but they're also "in charge" in the areas that
Saruman has ravaged.

Over all, Aragorn seems to be a "big picture" person, and "biding his time"
is a good way to describe it. It's not in a "someday all this will be mine"
sense, but more in a "I know what's really important - and to whom"sense.
Deference is called for here, IMO, and the result will be strong and lasting
alliances. There is no need for him to keep muscling people/beings out of
the way and reminding everyone who should be on top. Until his coronation,
he backs off (not down) again and again, and I like this very much about
him. After he's crowned, delegation is one of his strengths -- even at the
very end of his life. It's not really humility; it's a lack of arrogance,
and there's a big difference.


| Excellent summary. :-)

Yes, indeed!

--
Laurie Forbes


Huan the hound

unread,
Sep 1, 2004, 3:10:01 PM9/1/04
to
aelfwina posted on 8/31/04 5:00 PM:
[snip]

> " 'Well, I am going back into the open air, to see what the wind and sky are
> doing!' said Legolas
>
> 'We will come with you,' said Aragorn"

Crazy! My book has only the first of the paragraphs you
just quoted, but it was attributed to Aragorn. The next
line isn't there at all! What else am I missing?

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Sep 8, 2004, 11:22:36 AM9/8/04
to
in <3QqYc.1196$8J7.14...@news-text.cableinet.net>,
Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> enriched us with:
>
> aelfwina <aelf...@cableone.net> wrote:
>>

<snip>

>> (2) Aragorn should have been among those "great ones" since he has
>> revealed himself, yet he chooses here to revert to lesser status.
>> Why? (I have my own opinion on the subject, but would like to see
>> what others think.)
>
> I agree with what someone said about Theoden and Treebeard being those
> representatives of the kingdoms that had been most recently wronged by
> Saruman.

There is that, but also other considerations.

> I suspect that the answer is also partly story-external. Tolkien wants
> to show us the camaraderie of the Three Hunters and their friendship.

Yes. Part of this is, I believe, also the relationship between the
doorwardens, the 'manager' of Isengard and the various groups of guests.
"[Treebeard] commanded me to welcome the Lord of Rohan with fitting
words" and "if the Lord of the Mark and Gandalf will ride to the northern
wall ..." Merry (and Pippin) were told by Treebeard to welcome the King,
but what of their companions? Treebeard, I think, would have assumed that
they needed no instructions with respect to these, as they already knew
them. So, what did Treebeard say about the meeting? Is the inclusion of
Théoden and Gandalf only a result of Merry's own interpretation (the
specific notice about the King, "There'll be the Lord of the Fields of
Rohan, mark you! You must welcome him as well as you know how") and
Gandalf's impatience to speak with Treebeard ("Yet I wish to see
Treebeard as soon as may be.")?

I don't think there is any slight against Aragorn -- neither in intention
nor in execution. What Treebeard knew about Aragorn would have come from
Merry and Pippin themselves, I deem, and they didn't see the high lord,
Aragorn son of Arathorn, Elendil's heir, but rather they saw Strider and
their other companions -- and delights in it when he shows this side of
himself again:

<snip>

>> Aragorn makes himself comfortable. Pippin says "Look! Strider the
>> Ranger has come back!"
>> Aragorn responds "He has never been away. I am Strider and Dúnadan
>> too, and I belong to Gondor and the North." (8)
>
> A great piece of characterisation.

Brilliant!

And, I think, the reason why Aragorn didn't join Gandalf and Théoden (he
did trust Gandalf completely anyway, as he demonstrates later on during
'the Last Debate').

>> (8) A good spot for discussion of Aragorn. Some feel he is not as
>> interesting a character after he has revealed himself. Is he really
>> so different in these latter parts of the story?
>
> I think not. We often get flashes of Strider, and I never quite get
> why people say Strider was more interesting then Aragorn. I've always
> found him equally interesting as Strider and Aragorn and see them
> both as part of the whole personality.

I agree entirely.

Strider/Aragorn/Elessar isn't so much a development of the character as
such, but rather a development of our perception of the character: we see
new sides of him revealed, but he is still the same.

The interesting aspects of Aragorn's character lies not, IMO, in
self-doubt or a conflict between good and evil, but rather in the
symbiosis of the ranger and the king -- of Strider and Elessar --
ultimately acknowledged by himself, "But Strider shall be the name of my
house, if that be ever established. In the high tongue it will not sound
so ill, and /Telcontar/ I will be and all the heirs of my body."

Frodo's (and, I'd say, to an even larger extend Sam's) tale is a tale of
the ennoblement of the meek. They go from the simple to the noble, while
Aragorn is always among the noble. The development of Aragorn's character
is the tale of how he comes to trust the Hobbits and shows more and more
of himself to them, while below the surface he stays the same. I think
his character is both interesting and well-written -- I don't tire so
easily on nobility ;-)

<snip rest -- I agree>

--
Troels Forchhammer

Love while you've got
love to give.
Live while you've got
life to live.
- Piet Hein, /Memento Vivere/

Troels Forchhammer

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Sep 8, 2004, 11:37:24 AM9/8/04
to
in <slrncj3ueg.168....@aaronclausen.alberni.net>,
AC <mightym...@hotmail.com> enriched us with:

>
> On Sun, 29 Aug 2004 03:41:41 -0500,
> aelfwina <aelf...@cableone.net> wrote:
>
> <snip excellent synopsis>

Aye!

<snip>

>> (16) 1417? Why did Saruman take an interest in the Shire *before* he
>> had reason to think the Ring was there?
>
> As I recal from UT, it was because of pipeweed, or more justly,
> because he was having Gandalf followed, and Gandalf did take some
> interest in the Shire.

Indeed. It is all in UT 3,IV 'Concerning Gandalf, Saruman and the Shire'
(iii):

" Saruman soon became jealous of Gandalf, and this rivalry
turned at last to a hatred, the deeper for being concealed,
and the more bitter in that Saruman knew in his heart that the
Grey Wanderer had the greater strength, and the greater
influence upon the dwellers in Middle-earth, even though he
hid his power and desired neither fear nor reverence.
[...]
while secretly he noted and pondered all that he said, setting
a watch, so far as he was able, upon all his movements.
It was in this way that Saruman came to give thought to the
Halflings and the Shire, which otherwise he would have deemed
beneath his notice.
[...]
Seeing then that Gandalf thought the Shire worth visiting,
Saruman himself visited it, but disguised and in the utmost
secrecy, until he had explored and noted all its ways and
lands, and thought then he had learned all that there was to
know of it.
[...]
Yet in truth Saruman's spying and great secrecy had not in
the beginning any evil purpose, but was no more than a folly
born of pride. Small matters, unworthy it would seem to be
reported, may yet prove of great moment ere the end. Now truth
to tell, observing Gandalf's love of the herb that he called
"pipe-weed" (for which, he said, if for nothing else, the
Little People should be honoured), Saruman had affected to
scoff at it, but in private he made trial of it, and soon
began to use it; and for this reason the Shire remained
important to him. Yet he dreaded lest this should be
discovered, and his own mockery turned against him, so that he
would be laughed at for imitating Gandalf, and scorned for
doing so by stealth. This then was the reason for his great
secrecy in all his dealings with the Shire even from the first
before any shadow of doubt had fallen upon it [...]"

I don't think there's much to add ;-)

--
Troels Forchhammer

Behold! we are not bound for ever to the circles of the world, and beyond
them is more than memory, Farewell!
- Aragorn Son of Arathorn, 'LotR' (J.R.R. Tolkien)

Count Menelvagor

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Sep 9, 2004, 2:22:18 AM9/9/04
to
"Raven" <jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam> wrote in message news:<f5nYc.125$8u7...@news.get2net.dk>...

> > (15) "Wormtongues may be found in other houses." how might this apply to


> > Lotho? Was he like Wormtongue, why or why not?
>
> I should say that he was like Wormtongue, in that he was willing to sell
> out the Shire to Saruman for personal gain, just as Wormtongue sold out
> Rohan to a foe who was slaying his countrymen, hoping to force Éowyn to wed
> him as a reward from his new master. Lotho even imported his own army of
> ruffians to make the Shirefolk do his bidding, until they took his orders no
> more, and Saruman commanded one of his tools to murder the other tool.

lotho was an early capitalist: "Seems he wanted to own everything, and
then order folk about. It came out out that he already did own a
sight more than was good for him [...]"

> Except that I can't imagine Saruman, both very intelligent and rather
> self-delusional, as well as proud and concerned with his image, to reply
> honestly during an inkblot test - unless Sauron were the shrink. Count?)

the truth can now be told: sauron is frasier.

Shanahan

unread,
Sep 10, 2004, 1:26:27 AM9/10/04
to
Troels Forchhammer <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> creatively typed:

> in <3QqYc.1196$8J7.14...@news-text.cableinet.net>,
> Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> enriched us with:
>> aelfwina <aelf...@cableone.net> wrote:
> <snip>
>
> Strider/Aragorn/Elessar isn't so much a development of the
> character as such, but rather a development of our perception of
> the character: we see new sides of him revealed, but he is still
> the same.
> The interesting aspects of Aragorn's character lies not, IMO, in
> self-doubt or a conflict between good and evil, but rather in the
> symbiosis of the ranger and the king -- of Strider and Elessar --
> ultimately acknowledged by himself, "But Strider shall be the
> name of my house, if that be ever established. In the high
> tongue it will not sound so ill, and /Telcontar/ I will be and
> all the heirs of my body."
> Frodo's (and, I'd say, to an even larger extent Sam's) tale is a

> tale of the ennoblement of the meek. They go from the simple to
> the noble, while Aragorn is always among the noble. The
> development of Aragorn's character is the tale of how he comes
> to trust the Hobbits and shows more and more of himself to them,
> while below the surface he stays the same. I think his character

No real argument here, but I don't think Aragorn's character stays
the same. I think he learns much from his close personal contact
with the four hobbits. I doubt if he would have named his house
'Telcontar' had he not spent so much time with our dear foursome,
no matter how long he had known hobbits in his capacity as guardian
of The Shire. I believe the hobbits teach him humility, and the
value of close contact with the good-hearted earthiness that so
characterizes their race.

Ciaran S.
--
"Quel fromage."
"You just said, 'what a cheese'."
"I let it stand."
-p. cadigan

aelfwina

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Sep 10, 2004, 2:14:34 AM9/10/04
to

" Shanahan" <pog...@bluefrog.com> wrote in message
news:chr3f...@enews3.newsguy.com...

I am not so sure about "humility", as he never comes across to me as being
*overly* arrogant. ( A certain amount of macho arrogance is not
inappropriate to the setting.) but as to the rest, I do agree. In Bree,
there is a certain undertone of bitterness at being treated with contempt by
those he protects. I believe that through his love for the four hobbits, he
comes to see in his heart that which he knew in his head--the value of the
innocents whom he is protecting. I like your point about naming his house
"Telcontar". But in many other ways, he does not change as much as he is
revealed. I find Aragorn to be a rather fully realized character, with a
lot of depth to him, beginning to end.
Barbara

Igenlode Wordsmith

unread,
Sep 18, 2004, 5:51:01 PM9/18/04
to
in <3QqYc.1196$8J7.14...@news-text.cableinet.net>,
Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> enriched us with:
>
> aelfwina <aelf...@cableone.net> wrote:
>>
[snip summary]

There are some nice touches in this chapter, although in plot terms
I suppose it's just filling in explicitly what we have already guessed.
I hadn't remembered that the Huorns were supposed to be tree-like Ents,
rather than awakened trees - why then the 'shepherding' by Ents
glimpsed in the previous chapter? And the Ent population must have been
enormous, if they can muster a whole vast forest of them; and must
have dwindled very greatly, if all the Huorns are 'lost' Ents.


I enjoy the domesticity of Merry and Pippin after the completely
hobbit-free chapters in Rohan so far (or can Fangorn be said to be in
Rohan, I wonder?) As Gimli points out, it's classic hobbitry for them to
reappear in the middle of a good meal; Sam and Frodo's golden
improvised meal in Ithilien is also a memorable occasion, along with
Sam's sacrifice of his pans (far more interesting and significant for
the character than throwing his sword away!)

I do like the detail that the bread is stale, so they propose to make
toast out of it ;-) How many other fantasy characters - or authors -
would take this side-effect of being caught up in a siege and battle
into account, I wonder?


Listening to Merry's description of the emptying of Isengard ( "I
thought things looked very black for Rohan") I did find myself wondering
why Treebeard doesn't act to prevent Saruman's army leaving the vale in
the first place, thus forestalling all or most of the assault on Helm's
Deep and all those who died there. The Huorns show themselves perfectly
capable of dealing with a horde of Orcs *after* the battle - presumably
they could have done the same in the darkness of that night march, even
if Treebeard needed to wait for the ring of Isengard to be empty in
order for the Ents to attack without casualties? (Merry even says
"Huorns began to move south, as soon as the gates were shut again.
Their business [as opposed to the Ents'] was with Orcs I think." But
they don't then intervene until after the fortifications at Helm's Deep
have been largely destroyed, and much of the Westfold has been burnt and
pillaged.)

I would guess that the story-internal answer is that the Rohirrim have
not been particular friends to the Ents, and that Treebeard doesn't see
their welfare as any great concern of his, any more than his would be
to them. Presumably the Huorns' concern - or their instructions,
depending on how autonomous they are - is simply to ensure that no
matter what happens, the orc army does not return to Isengard?


"The fogs slowly gathered together and steamed up into a huge umbrella
of cloud: it must have been a mile high."

If Tolkien had been writing a few years later, would this be what he
would have called a 'mushroom cloud'? It sounds pretty similar...


"The water is dirty... but that will not harm you, Master Wormtongue."

Is this simply a matter of "don't be afraid of a little dirt", or is
the implication that Wormtongue is already himself as noxious as the
water? ;-)

>> (8) A good spot for discussion of Aragorn. Some feel he is not as
>> interesting a character after he has revealed himself. Is he really
>> so different in these latter parts of the story?
>
> I think not. We often get flashes of Strider, and I never quite get
> why people say Strider was more interesting then Aragorn.

But the interesting - and more sympathetic - parts of Aragorn *are*
generally when Strider is showing through: as here, or with Ioreth and
Merry in the Houses of Healing :-) Aragorn with Eowyn is pretty
lifeless - Aragorn asserting his rights is pompous - Aragorn debating
policy comes across with less individual character than Imrahil,
somehow, let alone Denethor or Gandalf (who at least retains a
recognisable 'voice' throughout). I think I find him basically lacking
in charisma during most of the end of the book :-(

He just seems to me to disappear and become a mouthpiece for stiff
sentiments, rather than becoming heroic or kingly; he loses the
rough-hewn identity he had, rather than acquiring a new one. I can see,
I suppose, why Peter Jackson came to the conclusion that he had to
invent some kind of character arc for Aragorn if the film were to be
framed around him - it's just that he managed to lose many of the bits
I actually liked in the process :-( (He certainly improved the unspoken
interplay between Aragorn and Eowyn, though.)
--
Igenlode <Igenl...@nym.alias.net> Bookwraith unabashed

* He who loses his temper has lost the argument *

Belba Grubb From Stock

unread,
Sep 19, 2004, 3:25:15 PM9/19/04
to
On Sun, 29 Aug 2004 03:41:41 -0500, "aelfwina" <aelf...@cableone.net>
wrote:

>(1) Why does he say this, since the trail they were following after the


>hobbits was clearly leading them to Isengard?

I think he's employing a social tool, reestablishing the connection
with the two hobbits on the same basis as it was then they parted: at
Parth Galen, none of them had any intention of going to Isengard.
This also gives the hobbits an opening to tell their story.


>
>(2) Aragorn should have been among those "great ones" since he has revealed
>himself, yet he chooses here to revert to lesser status. Why? (I have my own
>opinion on the subject, but would like to see what others think.)

Because words are one thing and deeds quite another. He has revealed
himself to some in Rohan, and the Elves call him Dunadan and the Heir
of Isildur, but he has not yet regained the throne. He isn't
officially a 'great one' yet. Theoden calls him "son of Arathorn" at
Helms Deep, not Heir of Elendil, which is only right as Aragorn hasn't
yet made his claim known in Gondor, with whom Theoden must maintain
strong ties. Aragorn accepts this, too: After leaving Isengard, when
Theoden's company is overtaken at night by a band of strangers he
dismounts and stands at Theoden's stirrup, something no king would do
for another king, but something quite in keeping with a Ranger and
Thorongil (if Theoden remembers the conversation Aragorn says they
had). Indeed, Aragorn may be maintaining his Thorongil role here,
though not the identity; we have no hint of this in the text, though.
I do wish JRRT had included some mention of Aragorn's former service
in Rohan.

Anyway, in the company of members of the Fellowship, Aragorn can say
he is of both Gondor and the North, but he can't say that yet in front
of Gondor's chief ally Theoden, not until he has been recognized by
Gondor.

Too, I think it was a tactic -- he knew Saruman would be watching them
closely; he didn't yet want the Enemy to know of the presence of the
Heir of Isildur and so he kept separate from the "great ones" and even
hid his mail-shirt in the elven cloak (so it wouldn't attract
attention?).

>
>(3) Merry says Saruman had Men that he trusted to guard his gates, and they
>were favored. Who were these Men? Were they some of the ruffians who ended
>up in the Shire? If so, why would Saruman trust them?

As far as origins go, the Men might have come from the Dunlendings,
although that folk might be a little too primitive. Isengard was
quite a distance from the dwellings of Men in the Vale of Anduin, so
my guess is that they were recruited from outlaw bands in the coastal
lands and/or Eriador (including the north), or perhaps even were rogue
Numenoreans of the south or the north or Rohirrim. The ruffians had
first arrived in the Shire while the gatekeepers were still employed;
perhaps the gatekeepers were the more intelligent and most easily
intimidated (if that isn't a contradiction), while the ruffians were
composed of the less intelligent but brutally apt sorts to be found
among the same group.

>(4) Is this perhaps his observation as a healer who has been surreptitiously
>checking them out for signs of abuse by the Orcs?

Excellent point! Yes, this very well could be that.

>(5) How much did they grow? We are told they surpassed the Bullroarer, and
>we know that Pippin was the smallest of the four to begin with. That must
>have been *some* growth spurt!

Three inches (before their final draught with Treebeard on the ride
north):

[Sam] made them stand back to back with Frodo and himself. He
scratched his head. "Can't understand it at your age!" he
said. "But there it is: you're three inches taller than you
ought to be, or I'm a dwarf."

>(6) What kind of strange songs would Elves know about Ent-draughts?

I agree: songs that likely were sung, in Mirkwood anyway, when the
wine of Dorwinion and other rich draughts were being quaffed in the
nightly revels.

>(7) Is this a defense mechanism from the only non-smoker in the group?

Yes!!!

>(8) A good spot for discussion of Aragorn. Some feel he is not as
>interesting a character after he has revealed himself. Is he really so
>different in these latter parts of the story?

There's been an excellent discussion here of how he doesn't change but
instead reveals different aspects of himself to the hobbits and
others. I would only add the warm and sudden friendship the arises
between him and Eomer in the most unexpected circumstances; the way in
which Prince Imrahil immediately acknowledges him and takes his word
as command; even Gollum's hatred of him. Aragorn stirs people very
deeply even at first meeting, as Eowyn certainly could attest. And
then there is the very complicated relationship with Gandalf, who
first speaks as a mentor and a guide (in "The White Rider" chapter)
and later (in "The Palantir") is the first to acknowledge Aragorn as
"lord" and suddenly starts being more humble: "if I may counsel you in
the use of your own..."

JRRT didn't quite follow the traditional "boy who would be king"
formula here, starting from the boy and proceeding on through to the
kingship. That is because he wanted to focus on the hobbits. He was
very ambitious to introduce this character full-grown, already a
commander and leader of men, just before the last lap of the road to
the throne began for him, and to keep him always human and accessible
while at the same time having him fulfill all the formulaic
requirements. He succeeded in making us know and love Aragorn even as
he grew into his destined role. I think at this moment where Aragorn
relaxes is the nexus where we do see the whole man for one last moment
as the story pauses just before the run-up to the final battle and
eventually the throne. It's one of my favorite parts of the chapter.

>(12) This puts me in mind of the old Mother Goose rhyme:
>
>"One misty, moisty morning
>
>When cloudy was the weather
>
>There I met an old man,
>
>All dressed in leather.
>
>I began to curtsey, and he began to bow.
>
>"How do you do? And how do you do?
>
>And how do you do again?"
>
>(I'm quoting from memory here, so please forgive me if it is not quite
>right.)
>
>Deliberate, do you think?

THAT'S where I heard it before -- have always wondered about that.
Thanks. It was most probably deliberate.

>(15) "Wormtongues may be found in other houses." how might this apply to
>Lotho? Was he like Wormtongue, why or why not?

Interesting question. At first I would have said, Lotho wasn't at all
like Grima, as he was a traitor but not a subverter, but then you have
to factor in crusty Lobelia. Lotho must have gotten around her
somehow, and she never realized it. How else would he have done but
by employing some of the same tools Grima used against Theoden, with
the added benefit of being her son.

>--Pippin seems to have the main job of recounting what happened. This is not
>the first time, either (remember how Frodo allowed him to tell of the
>journey from Bag End to Crickhollow?) He seems quite accomplished as a
>narrator.

He's almost fully prepared now to be the main hobbit character in the
Minas Tirith parts of the story.

>--This chapter is an interesting foreshadowing of the future of the
>Fellowship. Once the Ringbearers have passed over the Sea, these five alone
>remained in Middle-earth, and the friendship was close enough and strong
>enough that Merry and Pippin chose to die in Aragorn's company, rather than
>at home in the Shire. I like to think, though it doesn't say so, that they
>had the company there of Legolas and Gimli as well.

Most probably they did, as Legolas was also lingering in Middle-earth
until Aragorn passed, and both he and Gimli had shown great love for
the two hobbits.

Barb
_____
Do not be afraid of doing good deeds. It is
another name for happiness. I know well
that good deeds lead to a ripening, a blossoming,
which is pleasing, joyous and happy for a long time...
Of three deeds this is the fruit. Of three deeds this
is the ripening, the deeds of Charity, Self-taming,
and Self-control.
-- Buddha
_____

the softrat

unread,
Sep 19, 2004, 8:35:19 PM9/19/04
to
On Sun, 19 Sep 2004 14:25:15 -0500, Belba Grubb From Stock
<ba...@dbtech.net> wrote:

>Aragorn ...dismounts and stands at Theoden's stirrup, something no king would do
>for another king, ...

You had better check your European history before you make statements
like that. At very least Henry VIII of England and Francis I of
France, but I believe there are several others. (Who did the viking
pick up the foot of?)

the softrat
"Honi soit qui mal y pense."
mailto:sof...@pobox.com
--
"I spent a week in Montreal last weekend." -- Allan Lamport
(deceased), former mayor of Toronto.

Shanahan

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Sep 19, 2004, 9:58:21 PM9/19/04
to
Belba Grubb From Stock <ba...@dbtech.net> creatively typed:

> On Sun, 29 Aug 2004 03:41:41 -0500, "aelfwina"
> <aelf...@cableone.net> wrote:
<snip>

>> (2) Aragorn should have been among those "great ones" since he
>> has revealed himself, yet he chooses here to revert to lesser
>> status. Why? (I have my own opinion on the subject, but would
>> like to see what others think.)
>
> Because words are one thing and deeds quite another. He has
> revealed himself to some in Rohan, and the Elves call him
> Dunadan and the Heir of Isildur, but he has not yet regained the
> throne. He isn't officially a 'great one' yet. Theoden calls
> him "son of Arathorn" at Helms Deep, not Heir of Elendil, which
> is only right as Aragorn hasn't yet made his claim known in
> Gondor, with whom Theoden must maintain strong ties. Aragorn
> accepts this, too: After leaving Isengard, when Theoden's
> company is overtaken at night by a band of strangers he
> dismounts and stands at Theoden's stirrup, something no king
> would do for another king, but something quite in keeping with a
> Ranger and Thorongil (if Theoden remembers the conversation
> Aragorn says they had). Indeed, Aragorn may be maintaining his

There is a mention somewhere of Aragorn's position in Théoden's
army as that of a 'great champion', someone not directly in the
military structure. Rather like Beowulf and the Geats.
I can't find it in either the App. or in UT. Anyone know it?

As a champion, his role is really as an advisor to the king, and to
do all he can to aid Théoden. I suspect that a lot about how his
'help' will strengthen the ties between Gondor and Rohan, incur
reciprocal obligation for Théoden, and their history as former
compatriots, lies unspoken but strongly beneath what they do for
each other.

<snip>


>> (7) Is this a defense mechanism from the only non-smoker in the
>> group?
>
> Yes!!!

Yep, from the only wino in the group!

Ciaran S.
--
"...the necessity of keeping promises (even those with
intolerable consequences) ... runs through all Fairyland.
This is one of the notes of the horns of Elfland,
and not a dim note."
"On Fairy Stories" by JRRT


Shanahan

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Sep 19, 2004, 9:48:38 PM9/19/04
to
Belba Grubb From Stock <ba...@dbtech.net> creatively typed:
> On Sun, 29 Aug 2004 03:41:41 -0500, "aelfwina"
> <aelf...@cableone.net> wrote:
<snip>

And now there YOU go! Troels just had me totally justified in my
lifelong assessment of Aragorn, and here you go eloquently turning
the tables and showing me a rich, believable alternative to my
viewpoints. Will you people STOP THIS?? How am I supposed to make
up my mind?

Ciaran S.
--
Beware all enterprises which require new clothes.


Shanahan

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Sep 19, 2004, 11:38:34 PM9/19/04
to
Igenlode Wordsmith creatively typed:

> Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> enriched us with:
>> aelfwina <aelf...@cableone.net> wrote:
>>>
> [snip summary]
>
> There are some nice touches in this chapter, although in plot
> terms
> I suppose it's just filling in explicitly what we have already
> guessed. I hadn't remembered that the Huorns were supposed to be
> tree-like Ents, rather than awakened trees - why then the
> 'shepherding' by Ents glimpsed in the previous chapter? And the
> Ent population must have been enormous, if they can muster a
> whole vast forest of them; and must
> have dwindled very greatly, if all the Huorns are 'lost' Ents.

I think it is only Pippin's opinion that the Huorns are "Ents who
have become almost like trees". To me it makes more sense to take
Treebeard's explanation most seriously, when he says that Ents grow
like trees and trees like Ents, as shepherds and sheep do:
"...except the process is quicker and closer with Ents and trees,
and they march down the ages together." Thus the numbers of the
Huorns probably came more from trees than from Ents.

<snip>


> Listening to Merry's description of the emptying of Isengard ( "I
> thought things looked very black for Rohan") I did find myself
> wondering why Treebeard doesn't act to prevent Saruman's army
> leaving the vale in the first place, thus forestalling all or
> most of the assault on Helm's Deep and all those who died there.
> The Huorns show themselves perfectly capable of dealing with a
> horde of Orcs *after* the battle - presumably they could have
> done the same in the darkness of that night march, even if
> Treebeard needed to wait for the ring of Isengard to be empty in
> order for the Ents to attack without casualties? (Merry even
> says "Huorns began to move south, as soon as the gates were shut
> again. Their business [as opposed to the Ents'] was with Orcs I
> think." But they don't then intervene until after the
> fortifications at Helm's Deep have been largely destroyed, and
> much of the Westfold has been burnt and pillaged.)
>
> I would guess that the story-internal answer is that the
> Rohirrim have not been particular friends to the Ents, and that
> Treebeard doesn't see their welfare as any great concern of his,
> any more than his would be to them. Presumably the Huorns'
> concern - or their instructions, depending on how autonomous
> they are - is simply to ensure that no matter what happens, the
> orc army does not return to Isengard?

I would say it's something along these lines. But perhaps, in a
more general way. I believe that the disparate groups who fight
each other in this chapter (Ents/stone; Huorns/Orcs;
Wizards/Wizards, and of course historically, the
Rohirrim/Dunlendings) are those who are *meant* to fight each
other. The opponents, perhaps, are chosen more for symbolic
reasons, reasons that sometimes reach back into the First Age, than
for immediate military strategy. (Or, if you like, instead of
'symbolic', they are chosen to resolve story arcs that reach
farther back in ME history than this one battle.)

<snip>


> But the interesting - and more sympathetic - parts of Aragorn
> *are* generally when Strider is showing through: as here, or
> with Ioreth and Merry in the Houses of Healing :-) Aragorn with
> Eowyn is pretty lifeless - Aragorn asserting his rights is
> pompous - Aragorn debating policy comes across with less
> individual character than Imrahil, somehow, let alone Denethor
> or Gandalf (who at least retains a recognisable 'voice'
> throughout). I think I find him basically lacking in charisma
> during most of the end of the book :-(
>
> He just seems to me to disappear and become a mouthpiece for
> stiff sentiments, rather than becoming heroic or kingly; he
> loses the rough-hewn identity he had, rather than acquiring a
> new one.

ROFL! (No, no, I shouldn't react that way! <cackle>) Seriously,
this is the best assessment of my issues with Aragorn than I have
ever heard. Thank you!

> I can see, I suppose, why Peter Jackson came to the
> conclusion that he had to invent some kind of character arc for
> Aragorn if the film were to be framed around him - it's just
> that he managed to lose many of the bits I actually liked in the
> process :-( (He certainly improved the unspoken interplay
> between Aragorn and Eowyn, though.)

Agreed.

Ciaran S.
--
Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light
such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust
shall never be put out.
- Bishop Latimer, to his friend Nicholas Ridley,
as they were both about to be burned as heretics
outside Balliol College, Oxford (Oct. 16, 1555)

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Sep 20, 2004, 10:55:58 AM9/20/04
to
in <mfkrk0967ihvsvcnk...@4ax.com>,
Belba Grubb From Stock <ba...@dbtech.net> enriched us with:

>
> On Sun, 29 Aug 2004 03:41:41 -0500, "aelfwina" <aelf...@cableone.net>
> wrote:
>>

<snip>

>> (8) A good spot for discussion of Aragorn. Some feel he is not as
>> interesting a character after he has revealed himself. Is he really
>> so different in these latter parts of the story?
>
> There's been an excellent discussion here of how he doesn't change but
> instead reveals different aspects of himself to the hobbits and others.

Aye ;-)

> I would only add the warm and sudden friendship the arises between him
> and Eomer in the most unexpected circumstances;

Good point.

Éomer do touch on it later, "Since the day when you rose before me out of
the green grass of the downs I have loved you, and that love shall not
fail." As I read it this echoes Frodo's earlier assessment when he first
met Aragorn,
" There was a long silence. At last Frodo spoke with
hesitation. 'I believed that you were a friend before the
letter came,' he said, 'or at least I wished to. You have
frightened me several times tonight, but never in the way that
servants of the Enemy would, or so I imagine. I think one of
his spies would - well, seem fairer and feel fouler, if you
understand.'"

The basic awe, trust and love that he inspires is the same, IMO

<snip>

> Aragorn stirs people very deeply even at first meeting, as Eowyn
> certainly could attest.

Indeed.

> And then there is the very complicated relationship with Gandalf, who
> first speaks as a mentor and a guide (in "The White Rider" chapter)
> and later (in "The Palantir") is the first to acknowledge Aragorn as
> "lord" and suddenly starts being more humble: "if I may counsel you in
> the use of your own..."

"do not use it -- yet! Be wary!"

It is possibly noteworthy that Aragorn shortly after actually does use
the palantír despite Gandalf's warning. Of course he has got other
information and new counsels at that point, but still (had he waited a
couple of days longer -- e.g. until he was at Dunharrow -- he might have
been in better time at the Pelennor fields, though of course one would
then have to wonder what that would have meant for Frodo and Sam).

Still, Aragorn was quite used to make decisions independently, and he
judged that the time was right.

<snip>

> He was very ambitious to introduce this character full-grown,
> already a commander and leader of men, just before the last lap of
> the road to the throne began for him, and to keep him always human
> and accessible while at the same time having him fulfill all the
> formulaic requirements.

Well said.

I don't think it is a matter only of either-or. It is not exclusively
revelation or exclusively development, but rather a question of how these
are combined. With respect to Aragorn I think that the main focus is on
revelation: we get to see more and more of him; to learn what hides
beneath the ranger surface. That is not to say that he doesn't develop at
all: I do think that his experiences during the War of the Ring does
affect him, I just think that the main part of the change in the reader's
perception of him is due to revelation rather than development.

> He succeeded in making us know and love Aragorn even as he grew into
> his destined role.

In continuation of the above I would probably have worded that as Aragorn
taking up his destined role and fitting into it ;-)

> I think at this moment where Aragorn relaxes is the nexus where we do
> see the whole man for one last moment as the story pauses just before
> the run-up to the final battle and eventually the throne. It's one of
> my favorite parts of the chapter.

Strider continues to be a part of Aragorn. The ranger is, IMO, clearly at
the top in the Houses of Healign when he heals Merry, "I know that well,
or I would not deal with you in the same way,' said Aragorn." And of
course he is determined to name his house 'Strider' (though in Quenya as
befits the Royal House: a very fitting mix of the ranger and the High
King).

<snip>

>> (15) "Wormtongues may be found in other houses." how might this
>> apply to Lotho? Was he like Wormtongue, why or why not?
>
> Interesting question. At first I would have said, Lotho wasn't at all
> like Grima, as he was a traitor but not a subverter, but then you have
> to factor in crusty Lobelia. Lotho must have gotten around her
> somehow, and she never realized it. How else would he have done but
> by employing some of the same tools Grima used against Theoden, with
> the added benefit of being her son.

The situation in the Shire was fundamentally different from that in
Rohan. In Rohan there was a strong centralised government in the person
of the King: control the King and you control the nation. In the Shire
there was no central government -- the Thain, the Mayor and the Master
each exercised some power, but in general the Hobbits "kept the laws of
free will, because they were The Rules (as they said), both ancient and
just."

Taking control of the Shire was a different business alltogether, and it
involved first getting control of sufficient land -- the ownership and
control of the land was, I believe, the key to controlling the Shire. As
such I think that Lotho's role, in the beginning, was very much of the
same nature as Wormtongue's: to ensure Saruman a good measure of control
over the country. Later on Lotho's role changed into being merely a
figurehead for wanton destruction, but that is, I think, another story.

<snip>

[Merry and Pippin chosing to die in Gondor]


>> I like to think, though it doesn't say so, that they had the
>> company there of Legolas and Gimli as well.
>
> Most probably they did, as Legolas was also lingering in Middle-earth
> until Aragorn passed, and both he and Gimli had shown great love for
> the two hobbits.

I think Gimli became Lord of Aglarond and Legolas settled in Ithilien --
yes, it's in appendix A,III 'Durin's Folk':

" After the fall of Sauron, Gimli brought south a part of the
Dwarf-folk of Erebor, and he became Lord of the Glittering
Caves. He and his people did great works in Gondor and Rohan.
For Minas Tirith they forged gates of mithril and steel to
replace those broken by the Witch-king. Legolas his friend
also brought south Elves out of Greenwood, and they dwelt in
Ithilien, and it became once again the fairest country in all
the westlands."

Since Legolas and (reportedly) Gimli sailed from Ithilien (Tale of Years)
when Aragorn died, it would, IMO, be unlikely that the two Hobbits didn't
see these two friends as well during the years they stayed in Minas
Tirith (they went first to Rohan and must have passed right by Helm's
Deep and the caves of Aglarond: I can't really think that they would do
so without saying 'Hi' to Gimli, telling him that they were there).

--
Troels Forchhammer

A good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.
- (Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!)

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Sep 20, 2004, 10:59:49 AM9/20/04
to
in <cil9h...@enews2.newsguy.com>,
Shanahan <pog...@bluefrog.com> enriched us with:
>

<snip>

> And now there YOU go! Troels just had me totally justified in my
> lifelong assessment of Aragorn, and here you go eloquently turning
> the tables and showing me a rich, believable alternative to my
> viewpoints.

How wude of her! ;-)

Don't give up quite yet ;-)

> Will you people STOP THIS?? How am I supposed to make up my mind?

LOL!

You're not -- not really at least ;-)

You're supposed to realise that there are several ways to look at the
same book, and to learn to respect all of them. In the end you'll find
out which reading works best for you and propound that as one possibility
(unless, as has happened to me a couple of times, somebody points out
just why that reading is entirely impossible).

--
Troels Forchhammer

It is useless to meet revenge with revenge: it will heal nothing.
- Frodo Baggins, 'LotR' (J.R.R. Tolkien)

Belba Grubb From Stock

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Sep 20, 2004, 4:59:33 PM9/20/04
to
On Sun, 19 Sep 2004 18:58:21 -0700, " Shanahan" <pog...@bluefrog.com>
wrote:

> I suspect that a lot about how his
>'help' will strengthen the ties between Gondor and Rohan, incur
>reciprocal obligation for Théoden, and their history as former
>compatriots, lies unspoken but strongly beneath what they do for
>each other.

Indeed. Too, I've just remembered that Theoden's mother was from
Lossarnach and his father Thengel returned from Gondor reluctantly
when called to take up the kingship of Rohan and then required his
household to speak the language of Gondor. It was Thengel whom
Aragorn had served as Thorongil, perhaps just as Thengel had won honor
in the service of the Steward Turgon.

Quite apart from the traditional ties and obligations between Rohan
and Gondor, there is thus this personal link there that serves a sort
of hinge or springboard through which the young Aragorn finds his way
to Gondor.

When Aragorn and Theoden spoke, then, it may indeed have been as
compatriots and almost as equals -- the champion Thorongil and the
First Marshall of Riddermark, although of course as heir to the throne
Theoden outranked Thorongil. Interestingly, Theoden became King in
2980, the year Aragorn went north to take up the chieftainship of the
Dunedain, I believe (after plighting his troth with Arwen on Cerin
Amroth).

The more you think about it, the more it seems at least one book could
have been written just about the relationship and adventures of
Thengel, Theoden and Thorongil; maybe JRRT was silent on the matter in
"The Lord of the Rings" -- not even allowing Theoden to mention that
he recognized Aragorn, let alone the two of them to chat about 'old
times' even just prior to a charge at Helms Deep in which both
probably expected to perish -- because if he did start to get into it,
he wouldn't have been able to stop and go back to the huge story
already in front of him.

To step out of the story and look at things externally for a moment,
this is an excellent example of the incredible depth of JRRT's
imagination and the many and intricate and often interrelated
backstories many of them have.

How accurately he said it: "the book is too short."

>>> (7) Is this a defense mechanism from the only non-smoker in the
>>> group?
>>
>> Yes!!!
>
>Yep, from the only wino in the group!

:-D

Just about the whole fellowship would be in therapy today, if they
showed up: Legolas, Gandalf (who carried around a hit of liqour in
this story and quaffed a quart of mead after a long day of
Beorn-tracking in "The Hobbit") and Sam in Alcoholics Anonymous (not
Aragorn -- did we ever see him take a sip of ale from that tankard in
Bree?); the hobbits, Gandalf, Aragorn and Gimli in smoking cessation
counseling; all the hobbits in Overeaters Anonymous, and Gimli in
anger management classes. Boromir would be about the only one to get
a pass, due to his positive self-esteem, although even he might be
required to attend a one-day seminar in how to make friends and
influence people.

Barb

Belba Grubb From Stock

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Sep 20, 2004, 5:01:47 PM9/20/04
to
On Mon, 20 Sep 2004 14:59:49 GMT, "Troels Forchhammer"
<Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:

> In the end you'll find
>out which reading works best for you and propound that as one possibility
>(unless, as has happened to me a couple of times, somebody points out
>just why that reading is entirely impossible).

Try reading it before breakfast. I have it on good authority (Lewis
Carroll) that one can believe in up to six impossible things at that
time.

;^)

Belba Grubb From Stock

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Sep 20, 2004, 5:06:32 PM9/20/04
to
On Sun, 19 Sep 2004 17:35:19 -0700, the softrat <sof...@pobox.com>
wrote:

>On Sun, 19 Sep 2004 14:25:15 -0500, Belba Grubb From Stock
><ba...@dbtech.net> wrote:
>
>>Aragorn ...dismounts and stands at Theoden's stirrup, something no king would do
>>for another king, ...
>
>You had better check your European history before you make statements
>like that. At very least Henry VIII of England and Francis I of
>France, but I believe there are several others. (Who did the viking
>pick up the foot of?)

Loki, who had laready lost his toe to frostbite? I get so confused.

They don't teach us much of the details here, unfortunately. What was
that incident between Henry VIII and Francis I and/or others?

Barb

Michelle J. Haines

unread,
Sep 20, 2004, 5:13:55 PM9/20/04
to
In article <b0fuk01vqdh4d4gjl...@4ax.com>,
ba...@dbtech.net says...

>
> The more you think about it, the more it seems at least one book could
> have been written just about the relationship and adventures of
> Thengel, Theoden and Thorongil; maybe JRRT was silent on the matter in
> "The Lord of the Rings" -- not even allowing Theoden to mention that
> he recognized Aragorn, let alone the two of them to chat about 'old
> times' even just prior to a charge at Helms Deep in which both
> probably expected to perish -- because if he did start to get into it,
> he wouldn't have been able to stop and go back to the huge story
> already in front of him.

PJ did bring it up in the extended edition of TTT, though, although
I"m not entirely sure he got the dates correct, as Aragorn comments
that Theoden was "a small child" when he was serving in Rohan. The
same scene brings up Aragorn's rather advanced age, which they
apparently left out of the theatrical release because they thought
people unfamiliar with the story would be confused by the "Elf =
immortal, Man = mortal; why is this guy living so long?" issue.

> Gandalf, Aragorn and Gimli in smoking cessation
> counseling;

Hee. Apparently they thought about having Gandalf trying to quit
smoking in the movie, due to the negative press smoking gets these
days. Thank goodness they dropped it, and maintained smoking as a
positive cultural pastime.

Michelle
Flutist

--
Drift on a river, That flows through my arms
Drift as I'm singing to you
I see you smiling, So peaceful and calm
And holding you, I'm smiling, too
Here in my arms, Safe from all harm
Holding you, I'm smiling, too
-- For Xander [9/22/98 - 2/23/99]

Shanahan

unread,
Sep 21, 2004, 1:20:53 AM9/21/04
to
Belba Grubb From Stock <ba...@dbtech.net> creatively typed:
> On Sun, 19 Sep 2004 18:58:21 -0700, " Shanahan"
> <pog...@bluefrog.com> wrote:
>
>> I suspect that a lot about how his
>> 'help' will strengthen the ties between Gondor and Rohan, incur
>> reciprocal obligation for Théoden, and their history as former
>> compatriots, lies unspoken but strongly beneath what they do for
>> each other.
>
> Indeed. Too, I've just remembered that Theoden's mother was from
> Lossarnach and his father Thengel returned from Gondor
> reluctantly when called to take up the kingship of Rohan and
> then required his household to speak the language of Gondor. It

Which, IIRC, ticked off the court, being required to speak this
foreign tongue. Somewhat analogous to French and the English
court. I *have* to find that reference...

<snip>


> The more you think about it, the more it seems at least one book
> could have been written just about the relationship and
> adventures of Thengel, Theoden and Thorongil; maybe JRRT was
> silent on the matter in "The Lord of the Rings" -- not even
> allowing Theoden to mention that he recognized Aragorn, let
> alone the two of them to chat about 'old times' even just prior
> to a charge at Helms Deep in which both probably expected to
> perish -- because if he did start to get into it, he wouldn't
> have been able to stop and go back to the huge story already in
> front of him.

What a great story that would have been! (Instead all we get is "I
have been among them." <g>) I'm sure Tolkien would have been
tempted to travel down this path. As a matter of fact, I'm sure
there's a mention somewhere by C. that his father was very
interested in the Rohirrim late in his life...

> How accurately he said it: "the book is too short."

"...as others have noted..."

> Just about the whole fellowship would be in therapy today, if
> they showed up: Legolas, Gandalf (who carried around a hit of
> liqour in this story and quaffed a quart of mead after a long
> day of Beorn-tracking in "The Hobbit") and Sam in Alcoholics
> Anonymous (not Aragorn -- did we ever see him take a sip of ale

Don't forget the hobbits' addict behavior in the presence of
mushrooms!!

Ciaran S.
--
Tim, Tim Benzedrine!
Hash! Boo! Valvoline!
First, second, neutral, park
Hie thee hence, you leafy narc!
_Bored of the Rings_


Shanahan

unread,
Sep 21, 2004, 1:05:22 AM9/21/04
to
Belba Grubb From Stock <ba...@dbtech.net> creatively typed:

Damn. I was *just* going to say that. (was that the White Knight,
or one of the royalty?)

Ciaran S.
--
Hobbits! No report that I have heard does justice to the truth.


Shanahan

unread,
Sep 21, 2004, 2:45:59 AM9/21/04
to
Troels Forchhammer <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> creatively typed:
> in <cil9h...@enews2.newsguy.com>,
> Shanahan <pog...@bluefrog.com> enriched us with:
>
>> And now there YOU go! Troels just had me totally justified in
>> my lifelong assessment of Aragorn, and here you go eloquently
>> turning the tables and showing me a rich, believable
>> alternative to my viewpoints.
>
> How wude of her! ;-)
> Don't give up quite yet ;-)
>
>> Will you people STOP THIS?? How am I supposed to make up my
>> mind?
>
> You're supposed to realise that there are several ways to look
> at the same book, and to learn to respect all of them. In the
> end you'll find out which reading works best for you and
> propound that as one possibility (unless, as has happened to me
> a couple of times, somebody points out just why that reading is
> entirely impossible).

I know, I know! Actually, I'm enjoying the whole process to an
extent I never expected.

Ciaran S.
--
"There are many mysteries in this world, big and small.
Like, why do we love puppy dogs?
And why, oh why, do blue midgets hit me with fish?"
- The Tick


Shanahan

unread,
Sep 21, 2004, 1:31:52 AM9/21/04
to
Troels Forchhammer <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> creatively typed:
> Belba Grubb From Stock <ba...@dbtech.net> enriched us with:

<snip lots of stuff with which I agree>


> Since Legolas and (reportedly) Gimli sailed from Ithilien (Tale
> of Years) when Aragorn died, it would, IMO, be unlikely that the
> two Hobbits didn't see these two friends as well during the
> years they stayed in Minas Tirith (they went first to Rohan and
> must have passed right by Helm's Deep and the caves of Aglarond:
> I can't really think that they would do so without saying 'Hi'
> to Gimli, telling him that they were there).

I wonder, what would a hobbit make of the Glittering Caves?
Hole-dwellers they may be, but not that kind of 'hole'. (Probably
overawed at first, until they had had a feast and some Dwarvish
singing.) But I wonder if some deep part of them that is connected
to the earth -- holes, bare feet, agriculture -- wouldn't have felt
the same way about them that Gimli and the Dwarves did.

Ciaran S.
--
In the prevailing climate of street-smart irony and all manner of
gleeful post-modern mayhem, few will champion a tale
of wonder, laced with quasi-medieval moralizing,
and narrated with nineteenth-century earnestness.
- Robert Di Napoli

Odysseus

unread,
Sep 21, 2004, 2:46:52 AM9/21/04
to
Shanahan wrote:
>
> Belba Grubb From Stock <ba...@dbtech.net> creatively typed:
> >
> > Try reading it before breakfast. I have it on good authority
> > (Lewis Carroll) that one can believe in up to six impossible
> > things at that time.
> > ;^)
>
> Damn. I was *just* going to say that. (was that the White Knight,
> or one of the royalty?)
>
The Red Queen IIRC, at Alice's coronation or thereabout.

--
Odysseus

AC

unread,
Sep 22, 2004, 11:12:21 AM9/22/04
to
On Mon, 20 Sep 2004 22:05:22 -0700,
Shanahan <pog...@bluefrog.com> wrote:
> Belba Grubb From Stock <ba...@dbtech.net> creatively typed:
>> On Mon, 20 Sep 2004 14:59:49 GMT, "Troels Forchhammer"
>> <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:
>>
>>> In the end you'll find
>>> out which reading works best for you and propound that as one
>>> possibility (unless, as has happened to me a couple of times,
>>> somebody points out just why that reading is entirely
>>> impossible).
>>
>> Try reading it before breakfast. I have it on good authority
>> (Lewis Carroll) that one can believe in up to six impossible
>> things at that time.
>> ;^)
>
> Damn. I was *just* going to say that. (was that the White Knight,
> or one of the royalty?)

The White Queen. It is also the name of a particularly fallacious sort of
thinking.

--
Aaron Clausen
mightym...@hotmail.com

"My illness is due to my doctor's insistence that I drink milk, a whitish
fluid they force down helpless babies." - WC Fields

Belba Grubb From Stock

unread,
Sep 22, 2004, 1:17:09 PM9/22/04
to
On 22 Sep 2004 15:12:21 GMT, AC <mightym...@hotmail.com> wrote:

>On Mon, 20 Sep 2004 22:05:22 -0700,
> Shanahan <pog...@bluefrog.com> wrote:
>> Belba Grubb From Stock <ba...@dbtech.net> creatively typed:
>>> On Mon, 20 Sep 2004 14:59:49 GMT, "Troels Forchhammer"
>>> <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:
>>>
>>>> In the end you'll find
>>>> out which reading works best for you and propound that as one
>>>> possibility (unless, as has happened to me a couple of times,
>>>> somebody points out just why that reading is entirely
>>>> impossible).
>>>
>>> Try reading it before breakfast. I have it on good authority
>>> (Lewis Carroll) that one can believe in up to six impossible
>>> things at that time.
>>> ;^)
>>
>> Damn. I was *just* going to say that. (was that the White Knight,
>> or one of the royalty?)
>
>The White Queen. It is also the name of a particularly fallacious sort of
>thinking.

What sort of fallacious thinking do you have in mind: that anything is
impossible, believing in impossible things, reading before breakfast,
or...?

Barb

Belba Grubb From Stock

unread,
Sep 22, 2004, 1:36:59 PM9/22/04
to
On Mon, 20 Sep 2004 22:20:53 -0700, " Shanahan" <pog...@bluefrog.com>
wrote:

>Belba Grubb From Stock <ba...@dbtech.net> creatively typed:
>> On Sun, 19 Sep 2004 18:58:21 -0700, " Shanahan"
>> <pog...@bluefrog.com> wrote:
>>
>>> I suspect that a lot about how his
>>> 'help' will strengthen the ties between Gondor and Rohan, incur
>>> reciprocal obligation for Théoden, and their history as former
>>> compatriots, lies unspoken but strongly beneath what they do for
>>> each other.
>>
>> Indeed. Too, I've just remembered that Theoden's mother was from
>> Lossarnach and his father Thengel returned from Gondor
>> reluctantly when called to take up the kingship of Rohan and
>> then required his household to speak the language of Gondor. It
>
>Which, IIRC, ticked off the court, being required to speak this
>foreign tongue. Somewhat analogous to French and the English
>court. I *have* to find that reference...

Ach! the French and English again! While you're looking, would you
mind keeping an eye out for something Henry VIII and Francis I might
have done that remotely resembled Aragorn's dismounting and standing
by Theoden's stirrup. Softrat has not yet replied, and all my
googling has turned up thus far is the Field of the Cloth of Gold,
which is hardly the same thing.

>> The more you think about it, the more it seems at least one book
>> could have been written just about the relationship and
>> adventures of Thengel, Theoden and Thorongil; maybe JRRT was
>> silent on the matter in "The Lord of the Rings" -- not even
>> allowing Theoden to mention that he recognized Aragorn, let
>> alone the two of them to chat about 'old times' even just prior
>> to a charge at Helms Deep in which both probably expected to
>> perish -- because if he did start to get into it, he wouldn't
>> have been able to stop and go back to the huge story already in
>> front of him.
>
>What a great story that would have been! (Instead all we get is "I
>have been among them." <g>) I'm sure Tolkien would have been
>tempted to travel down this path. As a matter of fact, I'm sure
>there's a mention somewhere by C. that his father was very
>interested in the Rohirrim late in his life...

I wonder if he was interested solely in the Rohirrim at that point, or
still focussed on the wider picture with possibly that "Triple-T"
nexus with Gondor.

>> Just about the whole fellowship would be in therapy today, if
>> they showed up: Legolas, Gandalf (who carried around a hit of
>> liqour in this story and quaffed a quart of mead after a long
>> day of Beorn-tracking in "The Hobbit") and Sam in Alcoholics
>> Anonymous (not Aragorn -- did we ever see him take a sip of ale
>
>Don't forget the hobbits' addict behavior in the presence of
>mushrooms!!

I love it!!! That would earn them all, but especially Frodo, a long
stretch in a drug rehab program.

Barb

Odysseus

unread,
Sep 23, 2004, 4:15:32 AM9/23/04
to
AC wrote:
>
[six impossible things before breakfast]

>
> The White Queen. It is also the name of a particularly fallacious sort of
> thinking.
>
Yes, I misremembered; it's in the chapter "Wool and Water", just
before she turns into a sheep.

"Alice laughed. 'There's no use trying,' she said: 'one _can't_
believe impossible things.'

"'I daresay you haven't had much practice.' said the Queen. 'When I
was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes
I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. [...]'"

--
Odysseus

Shanahan

unread,
Sep 23, 2004, 5:53:12 PM9/23/04
to
Belba Grubb From Stock <ba...@dbtech.net> creatively typed:
> On Mon, 20 Sep 2004 22:20:53 -0700, " Shanahan"
>> Belba Grubb From Stock <ba...@dbtech.net> creatively typed:
>>> On Sun, 19 Sep 2004 18:58:21 -0700, " Shanahan"

<snip>


> Ach! the French and English again! While you're looking, would
> you mind keeping an eye out for something Henry VIII and Francis
> I might have done that remotely resembled Aragorn's dismounting
> and standing by Theoden's stirrup. Softrat has not yet replied,
> and all my googling has turned up thus far is the Field of the
> Cloth of Gold, which is hardly the same thing.

Oh heck, ya know that don't teach us Americans anything about
European history in school! The only thing I know about Henry VIII
and Francis, and Charles of Spain and some pope or other, was that
they were all terribly busy playing power games with each other,
that in the end did little but bankrupt their treasuries.

I did find this little anecdote about Henry and Francis engaged in
physical competition (displacement for warlike behavior or
homoerotic behavior, take your pick...oh wait, they're the
same...<g>). Apparently they wrestled a lot. This anecdote is
about some kind of horsey-type competition:

Appearing as Robin Hood at May Day festivities in 1515, Henry
quizzed the French ambassador about Francis I. Henry won on girth,
but the two were neck and neck on height. It all came down to legs.
"Look here! ," Henry exclaimed, tearing open his doublet. "I also
have a good calf to my leg!"

Maybe Aragorn at the stirrup was checking out Théoden's 'girth'.
(of his LEG, you filthy perverts).

Now, as to softie's cryptic question about whose foot did the
viking pick up, I have no idea. Are we talking Theodoric?

Ciaran S.
--
"I don't have any problems with women seeing me
as their ideal bit of 'rough'. Why would I?"
-sean bean


Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Sep 26, 2004, 3:59:47 PM9/26/04
to
Igenlode Wordsmith wrote:
> Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
>> aelfwina <aelf...@cableone.net> wrote:

>>> (8) A good spot for discussion of Aragorn. Some feel he is not as
>>> interesting a character after he has revealed himself. Is he really
>>> so different in these latter parts of the story?
>>
>> I think not. We often get flashes of Strider, and I never quite get
>> why people say Strider was more interesting then Aragorn.
>
> But the interesting - and more sympathetic - parts of Aragorn *are*
> generally when Strider is showing through: as here, or with Ioreth and
> Merry in the Houses of Healing :-) Aragorn with Eowyn is pretty
> lifeless

Lifeless??

"As she stood before Aragorn she paused suddenly and looked upon him,
and her eyes were shining. And he looked down upon her fair face and
smiled; but as he took the cup, his hand met hers, and he knew that she
trembled at the touch. 'Hail Aragorn son of Arathorn!' she said. 'Hail
Lady of Rohan!' he answered, but his face now was troubled and he did
not smile." (The King of the Golden Hall)

> Aragorn asserting his rights is pompous

Well, maybe... :-)

"'Dangerous indeed, but not to all,' said Aragorn. 'There is one who may
claim it by right. For this assuredly is the palantir of Orthanc from
the treasury of Elendil, set here by the Kings of Gondor. Now my hour
draws near. I will take it.'" (The Palantir)

I find that assertive and confident, not pompous.

> Aragorn debating
> policy comes across with less individual character

"They were silent for a while. At length Aragorn spoke. 'As I have
begun, so I will go on. We come now to the very brink, where hope and
despair are akin. To waver is to fall. Let none now reject the counsels
of Gandalf, whose long labours against Sauron come at last to their
test. But for him all would long ago have been lost. Nonetheless I do
not yet claim to command any man. Let others choose as they will.'" (The
Last Debate)

I find this very in character for Aragorn. Sensible, deferring to
Gandalf, not wavering from his set purpose. Also recognising that he
cannot choose for others.

> than Imrahil,
> somehow, let alone Denethor or Gandalf (who at least retains a
> recognisable 'voice' throughout).

As does Aragorn!

> I think I find him basically lacking
> in charisma during most of the end of the book :-(

He does come across as aloof, but that is part of his being king.

> He just seems to me to disappear and become a mouthpiece for stiff
> sentiments, rather than becoming heroic or kingly; he loses the
> rough-hewn identity he had, rather than acquiring a new one.

<snip film stuff>

Stiff sentiments. Which of the sentiments Aragorn expresses do you find
stiff? How would you expect an heroic or kingly character to act?

Christopher

--
---
Reply clue: Saruman welcomes you to Spamgard

Belba Grubb From Stock

unread,
Sep 29, 2004, 5:41:31 PM9/29/04
to

<a little header editing and a space-saving snip>

Somebody wrote:
>> Aragorn with Eowyn is pretty lifeless
>

and Christopher Kreuzer replied:


>Lifeless??
>
>"As she stood before Aragorn she paused suddenly and looked upon him,
>and her eyes were shining. And he looked down upon her fair face and
>smiled; but as he took the cup, his hand met hers, and he knew that she
>trembled at the touch. 'Hail Aragorn son of Arathorn!' she said. 'Hail
>Lady of Rohan!' he answered, but his face now was troubled and he did
>not smile." (The King of the Golden Hall)

This sets us up for the most powerful use of the word "thee" I've ever
read, where the married Aragorn finally does smile at Eowyn and calls
her "thee" after she has plighted her troth with Faramir. It took
several readings to spot it, but once seen (and JRRT's remarks on the
usage of thee/thou in the appendix do help) it is a real delight to see
Eowyn finally getting symbolically what she wanted -- Aragorn referring
to her in the familiar -- but in the "right" setting; it also shows us
once again how strong Aragorn's will is and how deep his insight, that
he didn't try to "feel her pain" and respond to her when she was so
wrought up at first but held back until a response from him would really
do her some good.

It's even more appreciated after learning that originally JRRT planned
to have the two marry. Nice resolution.

Barb

Belba Grubb From Stock

unread,
Sep 29, 2004, 5:51:48 PM9/29/04
to
On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 14:53:12 -0700, " Shanahan" <pog...@bluefrog.com>
wrote:

>Belba Grubb From Stock <ba...@dbtech.net> creatively typed:
>> On Mon, 20 Sep 2004 22:20:53 -0700, " Shanahan"
>>> Belba Grubb From Stock <ba...@dbtech.net> creatively typed:
>>>> On Sun, 19 Sep 2004 18:58:21 -0700, " Shanahan"
>
><snip>
>> Ach! the French and English again! While you're looking, would
>> you mind keeping an eye out for something Henry VIII and Francis
>> I might have done that remotely resembled Aragorn's dismounting
>> and standing by Theoden's stirrup. Softrat has not yet replied,
>> and all my googling has turned up thus far is the Field of the
>> Cloth of Gold, which is hardly the same thing.
>
>Oh heck, ya know that don't teach us Americans anything about
>European history in school! The only thing I know about Henry VIII
>and Francis, and Charles of Spain and some pope or other, was that
>they were all terribly busy playing power games with each other,
>that in the end did little but bankrupt their treasuries.

Charles of Spain - I like that. :-D

I think the pope might be Gregory ??? -- somehow that rings a bell
from our high school history classes because he "played power games" a
lot, allegedly. The only French I remember hearing about are the Sun
King (Louis with some Roman numeral after his name [yes, I know it was
XIV]) and Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution, a very light and
superficial mention of Napoleon -- they did teach us about the
Frenchman Lafayette, of course, at least his American activities, but
never mentioned the Pole Thaddeus Kosciusko (? spelling).

Other teachings: Spain: Ferdinand and Isabel. Columbus, of course,
we heard about, but it seemed he was Italian and I never really
understood how Spain ended up with such a large chunk of the Americas
because of this Italian explorer. Speaking of the Americas, Canada
was cool, in a couple of senses; South America started at the southern
bank of the Rio Grande and was all dictatorships and Aztecs and Incas.
There was a dictator in Spain, too. Italy, apart from Columbus, was
Mussolini and the Vatican and Florence and Michelangelo (? sp) and the
Roman Empire (covered on Wednesday's third period class with any
overlap taken care of during the first 10 minutes of Thursday's class
-- in other words, impossibly shallow). Poland was in Europe along
with a lot of other countries and got nailed by the Nazis: that was
about it.

There used to be a country named Russia that revoluted and killed the
czar and was now the Soviet Union and that's why we had those weird
"fallout shelter" signs on school walls. We never had to do duck and
cover drills, though. We did have a teacher who had, in retrospect,
socialist leanings and who spent a whole class period on Sandburg's
"Four Brothers" (it ties in with history, or at least one view of it),
speaking with an intensity that we didn't understand and thought was
kind of weird; I think most of us were delighted because it wasted so
much time.

We did get a little more detail on English history, but not much and
nothing really about relatively recent events other than the Victorian
age, Edward's abdication, Elizabeth is now the queen (but they never
explained why she is not Elizabeth II) and Charles will be the
king...more impossible shallowness, in other words. Sherlock Holmes
wasn't a real person. Some king lost his head but nobody knew why
other than that it had to do with Roundheads and Cavaliers. Nobody
wanted to talk about Ireland much, because most of us (not me) were
descendants of either Irish Protestants or Irish Catholics and it
would just get everybody upset. Really. One of my best friends ticked
off another best friend by always wearing orange on Thursdays when you
were supposed to wear green. Scotland was mentioned because of kilts,
bagpipes and the Loch Ness monster (and thus a visit three years later
to the beautiful city of Edinboro was such a delight and revelation -
also I learned then that Scotland was a part of the UK, because the
Queen had to spent one night a year in Holyrood Castle).

For Germany, I recall the Kaiser and Hitler and a lot of emphasis on
the two world wars of the 20th Century (this was less than 20 years
after the end of WWII). Prussians were 'stiff upper lip" types, but
not as likable as the British version of same, and they walked funny.
We also knew Beethoven and Wagner came from Germany, but they were
musicians and so not capable of playing power games.

Interesting how a lot of what was covered in history class related to
power games. Much like today's news coverage and a lot of current
culture. In other words, we missed a lot, most of the picture
actually.

It wasn't important to learn it in any great detail because it didn't
happen here. It may not be impossible that Europeans' often peculiar
(and to our eyes anti-American) take on the US is due to a similar
mindset. That is to say, human nature may be the same the world
around.

>I did find this little anecdote about Henry and Francis engaged in
>physical competition (displacement for warlike behavior or
>homoerotic behavior, take your pick...oh wait, they're the
>same...<g>). Apparently they wrestled a lot. This anecdote is
>about some kind of horsey-type competition:
>
>Appearing as Robin Hood at May Day festivities in 1515, Henry
>quizzed the French ambassador about Francis I. Henry won on girth,
>but the two were neck and neck on height. It all came down to legs.
>"Look here! ," Henry exclaimed, tearing open his doublet. "I also
>have a good calf to my leg!"
>
>Maybe Aragorn at the stirrup was checking out Théoden's 'girth'.
>(of his LEG, you filthy perverts).

:-D

Hmmm, 1515 -- likely that was part of the Field of the Gold Cloth. It
was certainly a horsey competition -- there was a lot of jousting, for
one thing, and the whole spirit of the tale fits in with the little
I've read about it.

Well, I have no idea of what Softrat was talking about, and it hasn't
been followed up, or hadn't been at the time I last checked in a few
days ago (still very busy, unfortunately); maybe it was just a shot,
and if so, I'll take a leaf (no pun intended) from the Merry
Brandybuck School for Handling Difficult People and call it a
compliment and so untrue, and stick with my original statement. In
that setting, no king would dismount and stand ready to guard another
king; that would be, in effect, an abdication because the implication
is that the man on foot is willing to fight to the death to defend the
mounted king. Along a similar line, it would have been morally wrong
for Felagund to sacrifice himself for Beren if he had not first handed
the crown to someone else and left his kingdom.

Aragorn thus had not yet claimed his own -- he would have to do that
in Gondor. But quite apart from the personal TTT nexus, there is also
an element of payback here after the great services Eorl and the
Rohirrim through the years had done for Gondor. It was not unfitting
that the Heir of Isildur would in turn defend the King of Rohan. It
would also deeply impress Eomer, and this action of Aragorn's perhaps
lays the groundwork for Eomer's remarkable statement of total trust in
Aragorn during the last debate.

Barb

Christopher Kreuzer

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Sep 29, 2004, 6:36:45 PM9/29/04
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Belba Grubb From Stock <ba...@dbtech.net> wrote:
> <a little header editing and a space-saving snip>
>
> Somebody wrote:
>>> Aragorn with Eowyn is pretty lifeless
>>
> and Christopher Kreuzer replied:
>> Lifeless??
>>
>> "As she stood before Aragorn she paused suddenly and looked upon him,
>> and her eyes were shining. And he looked down upon her fair face and
>> smiled; but as he took the cup, his hand met hers, and he knew that
>> she trembled at the touch. 'Hail Aragorn son of Arathorn!' she said.
>> 'Hail Lady of Rohan!' he answered, but his face now was troubled and
>> he did not smile." (The King of the Golden Hall)
>
> This sets us up for the most powerful use of the word "thee" I've ever
> read, where the married Aragorn finally does smile at Eowyn and calls
> her "thee" after she has plighted her troth with Faramir.

And there is also a reference back to their first meeting:

"Then Eowyn looked in the eyes of Aragorn, and she said: 'Wish me joy,
my liege-lord and healer!' And he answered: 'I have wished thee joy ever
since first I saw thee. It heals my heart to see thee now in bliss.'"
(Many Partings).

> It took
> several readings to spot it, but once seen (and JRRT's remarks on the
> usage of thee/thou in the appendix do help)

<snip>

I think you mean this footnote in Appendix F:

"In one or two places an attempt has been made to hint at these
distinctions by an inconsistent use of thou. Since this pronoun is now
unusual and archaic it is employed mainly to represent the use of
ceremonious language; but a change from you to thou, thee is sometimes
meant to show, there being no other means of doing this, a significant
change from the deferential, or between men and women normal, forms to
the familiar."

But that has now confused me. Is you or thou/thee the familiar form? I
think Tolkien is saying that he sometimes uses thee/thou to signify
familiarity - an inconsistent use of the words (as they normally show
deference and formality). Would Aragorn's use of thee be an example of
this, as I think you are saying?

Belba Grubb From Stock

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Sep 29, 2004, 8:46:24 PM9/29/04
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Christopher Kreuzer wrote:

> <snip>
>
> I think you mean this footnote in Appendix F:
>
> "In one or two places an attempt has been made to hint at these
> distinctions by an inconsistent use of thou. Since this pronoun is now
> unusual and archaic it is employed mainly to represent the use of
> ceremonious language; but a change from you to thou, thee is sometimes
> meant to show, there being no other means of doing this, a significant
> change from the deferential, or between men and women normal, forms to
> the familiar."
>
> But that has now confused me. Is you or thou/thee the familiar form?

I am not sure of what the correct nomenclature is in English, but the
English "thou" corresponds to the second person singular forms "toi" in
French and "tu" in Spanish. Somebody else will have to cover the French
usage, but there is a formal form in Spanish, "usted," that is also used
(in Iberroamerica anyway) as a second person singular form. In the
Americas, if you don't know someone or you want to show deference, etc.,
you address the person as "usted." If you know them, or if they're
children, etc., you say "tu." In modern Spain, as I understand it from
Morthond, they use "tu" just about all the time.

I think "you" used to be the formal form, the English equivalent of
"usted," perhaps (note the shared initial "t" in "thou" and "tu" and the
initial "u" sound in both "you" and "usted"). But don't quote me on
that (g).

Seems confusing, but it's pure simplicity compared to a language like
Vietnamese where this same form of address varies quite a bit and
conveys many, often subtle nuances of the social relationship between
the two speakers.

>I think Tolkien is saying that he sometimes uses thee/thou to signify
> familiarity - an inconsistent use of the words (as they normally show
> deference and formality). Would Aragorn's use of thee be an example of
> this, as I think you are saying?

Yes. Thanks for the quote. I had forgotten that she also called him
liege lord and healer.

JRRT might have called it inconsistent because he also used the form to
signify disrespect: the Mouth of Sauron addressed Gandalf as "thou."
Two very different uses of the word!

Barb

Christopher Kreuzer

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Sep 29, 2004, 9:26:12 PM9/29/04
to
Belba Grubb From Stock <ba...@dbtech.net> wrote:
> Christopher Kreuzer wrote:

<snip>

>>I think Tolkien is saying that he sometimes uses thee/thou to


>> signify familiarity - an inconsistent use of the words (as they
>> normally show deference and formality). Would Aragorn's use
>> of thee be an example of this, as I think you are saying?
>
> Yes. Thanks for the quote. I had forgotten that she also called him
> liege lord and healer.
>
> JRRT might have called it inconsistent because he also used the form
> to signify disrespect: the Mouth of Sauron addressed Gandalf as
> "thou." Two very different uses of the word!

But not inconsistent... Have a look at Denethor's final speech to
Gandalf. That is littered with thous and thees plus a wouldst and a
hadst and a stealest here and there.

Galadriel uses 'thou' a lot, plus the Sons of Elrond. Also Isildur,
Eowyn, Denethor and, as you say, the Mouth of Sauron. Tom the Troll uses
'thee', as does Treebeard. Arwen also talks this way, addressing Aragorn
as 'thee':

"The days now are short. Either our hope cometh, or all hopes end.
Therefore I send thee what I have made for thee. Fare well, Elfstone!"
(The Passing of the Grey Company)

This is also interesting as another example of Arwen's dialogue in the
story (transmitted through Halbarad). I've always thought she only got
to say stuff in the 'Many Partings' chapter, but there is this reference
as well! (Arwen is referred to only as 'The Lady of Rivendell' and not
by actual name.)

Getting back to the thee/thou usage, I suspect they can all be explained
as devices used by Tolkien to give each race/person a distinct voice,
expecially in the cases of Denethor and Isildur and the Mouth of Sauron
(all of whom are Numenoreans or suspected Numenoreans). The uses by
Treebeard, Galadriel, Tom the Troll, and the Sons of Elrond appear
mostly (maybe all) as songs/prophecies and so are 'allowed' as
archaisms.

The only inconsistent uses are by Arwen/Eowyn/Aragorn. And this might
reflect the 'familiar' use that Tolkien was implying to tie together
this love triangle: Arwen addressing Aragorn as thee, Eowyn addressing
Aragorn as thee, and finally Aragorn addressing Eowyn as thee.

Trevor Barrie

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Sep 29, 2004, 10:31:23 PM9/29/04
to
In article <1OG6d.827$tm4...@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>,

Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
>"In one or two places an attempt has been made to hint at these
>distinctions by an inconsistent use of thou. Since this pronoun is now
>unusual and archaic it is employed mainly to represent the use of
>ceremonious language; but a change from you to thou, thee is sometimes
>meant to show, there being no other means of doing this, a significant
>change from the deferential, or between men and women normal, forms to
>the familiar."
>
>But that has now confused me. Is you or thou/thee the familiar form? I
>think Tolkien is saying that he sometimes uses thee/thou to signify
>familiarity - an inconsistent use of the words (as they normally show
>deference and formality).

As I understand it, "thee" and "thou" were the originally the singular
second-person pronouns (objective and subjective, respectively) with "you"
being the plural and, by extension, the more polite and deferential form.
(Loosely comparable to the "royal we".) As both you and Tolkien point out,
this does lead to inconsistency. The book sometimes uses them to indicate
greater familiarity, since that is, after all, what they actually mean;
but the fact that they're now archaic means that they also sound ceremonial
to us, and hence can be used to indicate greater formality as well.


Trevor Barrie

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Sep 29, 2004, 10:36:49 PM9/29/04
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In article <mgbml050kmp1kf2tm...@4ax.com>,

Belba Grubb From Stock <ba...@dbtech.net> wrote:
>We did get a little more detail on English history, but not much and
>nothing really about relatively recent events other than the Victorian
>age, Edward's abdication, Elizabeth is now the queen (but they never
>explained why she is not Elizabeth II)

She's not?

Odysseus

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Sep 30, 2004, 12:42:36 AM9/30/04
to

If she's not, the Mint has a lot of typos to answer for!

--
Odysseus

Odysseus

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Sep 30, 2004, 3:43:59 AM9/30/04
to
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
>
> But that has now confused me. Is you or thou/thee the familiar form? I
> think Tolkien is saying that he sometimes uses thee/thou to signify
> familiarity - an inconsistent use of the words (as they normally show
> deference and formality). Would Aragorn's use of thee be an example of
> this, as I think you are saying?
>
"Thou" & "thee" may show formality now, in the sense that they are
only used in ceremonial or archaistic contexts, but they don't show
deference. On the contrary, in several European languages with a less
moribund second-person singular than ours, its use indicates
familiarity or informality; strangers or superiors are politely
addressed with a plural form.

--
Odysseus

Troels Forchhammer

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Sep 30, 2004, 7:48:06 AM9/30/04
to
in <10lmlol...@corp.supernews.com>,
Belba Grubb From Stock <ba...@dbtech.net> enriched us with:
>
> Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
>>

<snip>

> I think "you" used to be the formal form, the English equivalent of


> "usted," perhaps (note the shared initial "t" in "thou" and "tu" and
> the initial "u" sound in both "you" and "usted"). But don't quote
> me on that (g).

German "du" and "Sie" and Danish "du" and "De". It's common to use the
second person plural form as a formal address in the singular (in Danish
it gets capitalized when used in this way).

In Danish we have some even more formal ways of address using the third
person singular forms -- "Could the Minister tell me" and in the extreme
a third person plural genitive ("Their Majesty", "Their Royal Highness").
Extremely awkward, but there you are ;-)

>> I think Tolkien is saying that he sometimes uses thee/thou to
>> signify familiarity - an inconsistent use of the words (as they
>> normally show deference and formality).

<snip>

> JRRT might have called it inconsistent because he also used the form
> to signify disrespect: the Mouth of Sauron addressed Gandalf as
> "thou." Two very different uses of the word!

I'm not sure that it is the same in this example, but in Danish the
formal address is occasionally used to distance oneself from the person
addressed -- implying a derisive address


With respect to Denethor's useage (which Christopher brings up), his
mixed addresses might of course also merely be a result of the madness
into which he has descended. On the other hand the formal address, when
used in combination with a familiar address (which, as in the case
between children and adults, can be used to imply that the speaker feels
superior to the other), can be used to distance oneself even further from
someone (who one thinks is behaving childishly).

--
Troels Forchhammer

Indeed, literary analysis will be a serious undertaking only when it
adopts the mindset of quantum physics and regards the observer as part of
the experiment.
- Flame of the West on AFT/RABT

the softrat

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Sep 30, 2004, 6:48:30 PM9/30/04
to
On Wed, 29 Sep 2004 19:46:24 -0500, Belba Grubb From Stock
<ba...@dbtech.net> wrote:

>
>I think "you" used to be the formal form, the English equivalent of
>"usted," perhaps (note the shared initial "t" in "thou" and "tu" and the
> initial "u" sound in both "you" and "usted"). But don't quote me on
>that (g).
>

Nope.

Originally, 'thou' was second person nominative singular and 'you' was
second person nominative plural. Over time 'thou' and other second
person singular forms have more-or-less dropped out of English as have
most of the oblique forms of all nouns, adjectives, and pronouns.

(Note: 'usted' is a development from 'vuestra merced', 'your grace'.)

the softrat
"Honi soit qui mal y pense."
mailto:sof...@pobox.com
--
"If somebody's gonna stab me in the back, I wanna be there." --
Allan Lamport (deceased), former mayor of Toronto.

Shanahan

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Oct 1, 2004, 1:17:40 AM10/1/04